The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) has blamed lack of reliable internet connection on their failure to reach the next round of the ongoing online chess Olympiad. The team’s dream of making it to the next round of Division 2 came to an end on Sunday after finishing 5th on their pool. Botswana was pitted against the likes of Scotland, Angola, Nigeria and Zambia.
Due to financial constraints, the team members played their matches from the comfort of their homes unlike their maiden appearance in 2020 when they were on national camp. Instead of using fast internet, it is said that players were given data bundles token as an alternative due to playing matches from home with limited training and guidance from coaches ahead of matches.
While the team had high hopes of qualifying for the next round, BCF Secretary General Mokwaledi Tingwane told The Telegraph that had they been assisted accordingly, the team would have performed much better in their second appearance. ‘’We didn’t meet our expectations as we were confident of making it to the next round. Following our request of having players on camp and training together, we were dealt a blow as the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) indicated that they have limited funds to assist hence the team playing from home,’’ said Tingwane.
Narrating their challenges, Tingwane further said ‘’last year were had partners on board in the likes of Bofinet with their fast internet making it easy for players to execute their moves with ease. There was a lot of technicalities that pulled us down due to poor connectivity of the internet. The lack of corporate assistance also proves to be a challenge as players’ volunteer to represent country with lack of incentives. We are hoping for the best in the next season as we intend to bring more corporate partners to assist with other logistics including players’ welfare to motivate them during international outings.’’