Botswana’s most decorated chess veteran, Woman International Master (WIM) Boikhutso Mudongo’s efforts of upgrading to the highest chess title in the world (Grandmaster) fell short after failing to impress at the 2016 Individual Chess Championships that were staged in Uganda recently.
The tournament was contested in three categories: Standard, Rapid and Blitz rate that were played in nine rounds where Mudongo went head to head with other African chess maestros who were vying for different titles in various sections ahead of the much anticipated World’s biggest chess event (2016 World Chess Olympiad).
She finished 6th and 5th in Standard and Rapid rates out of more than 50 players from across Africa.
Mudongo said the tournament was of a high rating contested by the best in Africa but she had to prove her worth.
“This tournament was attended mostly by regular and experienced players across Africa, South Africa, Algeria and Zambia which was a great thing for me because it tough,” she recalls.
“I am glad that my performance has improved because I was seeded 11th but I managed to eliminate some of those who were on top and I can confidently say I am ready, and my team is also ready,” She added.
The Botswana national team that will be heading to Baku next month is made of 10 players – Mudongo, Onkemetse Francis, Thapelo Francis, Khumo Mooketsi and Mabedi Mbo, Ndawana Mosenya, Keletshabile Monnatsheko, Otsile Mapini, Thuso Mosutha and Moakofi Notha.
Mudongo added that she intends utilize the experience she gained over the years in the tournament because it might be her last competitive international event.
“I am 37 years old and I want to leave the team in the hands of capable and potential players who will continue my legacy in local chess when I retire, which is going to be soon”
The 42nd chess Olympiad is scheduled to start from September 1 to 14 at Baku, Azerbaijan.