Besa Masaiti of Rock and Roll chess club has scooped a bronze medal in the African Online Individual Chess Championships.
The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF)’s secretary general Mokwadi Tingwane said Masaiti played brilliantly as best performing player under 20 girls category.
BCF) took a leap of faith as it sent a team of twelve players, eight officials and four additional players who were on reserve to participate in the African Online Individual Chess Championships.
The championships were held from the 29th of January to the 7th of February. Countries that took part include Angola, Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia.
“Our goal was for all our players to finish in the top ten in each category, open section, ladies section, under 20 girls and boys, as well as get a medal in the girls section,” noted Tingwane. He added that the under 20 girls category is the only one in which they achieved their goal.
He said: “In short we did not realise all our goals, due to challenges that we encountered. The challenge that I can point out is having players play from their respective homes, it is no ideal, no camp, no coach nor training. However, this will be rectified by all means next time funds permitting.”
He further added that they are still adapting to the new normal of online chess.
“As much as online is not like over the board chess, our players gained a lot of experience before, because we were up against the best in Africa, the players from North Africa especially of Arabic origin, the likes of Egypt and Algeria are very strong,” he said.
Moreover, Tingwane noted that they are happy with how the team played, adding that they will put an extra work in the next coming ensure capabilities and performance of the team is maximized hence yielding even better results.
The team comprised of males Providence Oatlhotse and Thuso Mosutha, as well as ladies Onkemetse Francis and Kgalalelo Botlhole. Under 20 Girls included Besa Masaiti and Naledi Marape whilst the Under 20 Boys consisted of Othata Selogelo and Desire Machiya.