Chess Women International Master (WIM) Onkemetse Francis is up for another challenge at the Botswana International Chess Championship from September 29 to October 2 at Botho University after impressing at the recent Olympiad Games in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Seen as the biggest event in the game’s local calendar, the championship attracts chess brains locally and regionally.
With competition expected to be of a high standard, Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) has extended invitations to reputable players across Africa and has thus far received registrations from South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Defending champions WIM Boikhutso Mudongo and Zambian International Master (IM) Chitumbo Mwali will have to go the extra mile to guard their titles.
Francis has told Sunday Standard that she is determined to challenge for honours. The on-form chess player proved to be one of the heavyweights to have come from this country after her sterling performance in Baku when she led her team well in its campaign.
‘’I am on top of my game at the moment and gunning to defend my title. It is important that just a week after arriving home we are back at it in a major championship. The national team coach has worked wonders for me in terms of applying my mind tactically and with his assistance I will be unstoppable,” said Francis.
The launch of the championship sponsorship by Debswana Diamond Company is scheduled for tomorrow (Monday).
BCF spokesperson Keenese Katiseng said: “All will be revealed at the launch but the sponsorship is much better.”
She revealed that the championship continues to grow every season and is now attracting players from outside the country. One of Zambia’s talented players Daniel Jere is expected to test the local players alongside Epah Jere and Prince Mulenga.