The co-founder of Francistown School of Chess Jeremiah Dikgang is happy.
His school is making strides in the online tournaments as is the new norm after being hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is after successfully participating in online tournaments with international countries, something that has proved fruitful and beneficial to his players for the past few months.
He further believes that these online tournaments have helped their players gain exposure as well as the needed experience.
“There was an Under 15 online chess tournament in Mexico and they invited us to take part. It was a great honour to see the Mexicans extend the chess olive branch to us,” he says.
But of all the thousands of Chess academies all over the world, why Francistown School of Chess?
“It is because of years of hard work, building the brand and making it to appeal to the world out there,” Dikgang says.
He says over the past years Francistown School of Chess grew in stature and started to be recognized locally and across the world.
“Like I always say, our mission was very clear when we started, we wanted to become a centre for chess excellence,” he says.
“Our actions, values and beliefs are consistent with our vision. That is why many of our goals and dreams are turning into reality.”
He went on to add that this year alone, they have been invited to play virtual tournaments in Spain, Argentina, and Uganda and now we are from the Mexican tournament.
Of the 9 teams that took part in the Mexican virtual chess tournament, Dikgang says they managed to get position 3.
On individual performances, one of the local boys, Nonofo Phitisi got position 2 in overall player’s rankings.
“This international exposure is priceless when it comes to the experience these young lads are gaining. We are very happy because we did make the country proud with our performance and already their media houses are writing about us which in a way alerts potential tourists about our beautiful Botswana,” opines Dikgang.
Moreover, Dikgang notes that Francistown School of Chess is turning out to be a movement that is growing.
While Francistown is the main branch, he says they currently have other branches in Orapa, Lethkakane, Jwaneng, Kanye and Gaborone.
“This project is run and sustained at a cost and special appreciation has to be extended to parents who are doing all they can to financially to ensure the dream is realized but we still remain challenged,” he says.
“Hopefully someone will one day will realize the need to partner with this project.”
He concluded by saying that currently their annual international tournament is sponsored by First Capital Bank, which is hosted over Easter holidays, but had to be postponed to December this year due to Covid-19.