Wednesday, December 2, 2020

End of the road for chess Olympiad team

Botswana has crashed out of the maiden World FIDE online Olympiad chess championship. 

Playing in division 3, Botswana emerged seventh on the table in the highly contested group that witnessed Portugal’s grueling performance placing them at the summit of the table. With three nations making it to the next division in their efforts to make it to the final, runners up IPCA and third placed Scotland have qualified for the next round and will join some of the chess heavyweights in division 2.

While Botswana started of their journey on a high note, the match against Nigeria witnessed Botswana players winning all their games against the West African nation with only a single stalemate when Women Candidate Master (WCM) Refilwe Gabatshwane drew the last game on board six. The second round witnessed team Botswana navigating with dimmed lights as they lost all their matches to fourth placed Tajikistan.

Against runners up IPCA, Botswana won one match, drew one and lost four of the other matches. In another interesting battle against United Arab Emirates, Botswana pocketed two wins and a draw while the UAE scored 3.5 points with three victories and a single draw. It was evident in round six and seven that Botswana was packing bags when they lost to Portugal and Scotland. It was yet another walk in the park for Portugal claiming five wins out of five.

Despite knocked out of the championship, Botswana consoled in their last match against Sri Lanka winning five of their matches against one. Meanwhile FIDE has identified some cheating nations and has since taken action against irregularities.

In a statement, FIDE announced that The Online Olympiad Fair Play Panel has identified four cases in which there are sufficient grounds to believe the Fair Play Regulations have been violated.

All the results of these players in the Online Olympiad have been turned into losses, and where applicable they will not be allowed to play any further part in the tournament. Tournament officials and team captains concerned have been informed to that effect.’

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.