Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) Vice President (Administration) Rodger Tiroyamodimo says the ladies chess team is setting its sights on finishing in a category medal spot following their poor start at the ongoing 2016 Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Botswana is represented by two teams in the men and ladies category comprising of five players apiece.
Botswana is pinning its hopes on the ladies team made up of: WIM Onkemetse Francis, WCM Thapelo Francis, Mbo Mabedi and Palesa Mooketsi which registered one win, three losses and two draws after six rounds of play. This puts them on the verge of finishing in a better position if they win their remaining games.
“Each team plays 11 rounds and we are now left with five and we are gunning for more points that will grant us the medal podium. We spoke to them individually via social media platforms and their morale is high. I could pick up the confidence in them and they also vowed to fight until the bitter end,” he said.
The ladies team suffered a major setback as one of the key players (WIM Boikhutso Mudongo) withdrew from the tournament following the death of her elder sister who was laid to rest yesterday (Saturday) in Mmadinare Village.
Her withdrawal affected the team as she is the most experienced and highly ranked player. She was replaced by a reserve player.
The men’s team that is dominated by a youthful squad is facing fierce competition from their counterparts and has not yet found its footing in the tournament.
They lost four games, won one and drew one after six rounds of play which does not give them any hope of finishing in a better position.
The teams are expected back home on September 14.