The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) is confident that young chess sensation Women Fide Master (WFM) Besa Masaiti will excel at the ongoing 2017 World School Chess Championships in Lasi, Romania.
Though Masaiti lost the opening match to Aleyla Hilario of Peru this past Sunday there are still nine more games to play.
“Masaiti is a very strong player; we believe in her but we are not putting her under any pressure. She has gone to compete and also gain exposure and experience,” BCF spokesperson Keenese Katisenge told The Telegraph.
She revealed that Masaiti prepared well for the championship after intensive sessions with her coach.
“Since qualifying for the championship in Zambia late last year, she has been taking part in all tournaments to prepare for the event. Given her past experiences in championships locally and regionally, we believe she is well prepared for the event,” said Katisenge.
She further said statistics proved that despite Masaiti being a youngster, she had featured against older players and gave them a run for their money.
“For two consecutive years Masaiti consistently reached the top ten in all women sections of open chess tournaments. She finished on position seven of the 2016 Maun International Open and came out number 10 during the 2016 Metropolitan National Chess Championships. She became one of the first youngsters to earn the right to play and represent Botswana internationally under BOPSSA immediately after the association partnered with BCF,” said Katisenge.
Among others, she was crowned champion of 2016 Reba Bona Ha Youth Chess Championships Under-14 girls, 2016 Africa Schools Chess Championships Under-15 girls section Gold Medallist, Airfficiency Chess Championships Girls Youth Section Gold medallist and Botswana International Open Chess Championship girls Under-14 gold medallist, just to mention a few.
By winning gold during the African Schools championships in Zambia in 2016, Masaiti became the first local to earn the right to participate at the World Schools Championships.