Black Bishops Chess Club Manager Kebalitile Francis had nothing but words of praise for his club and players following the thrilling performance throughout the season.
In what has been described as one of the club’s most successful seasons, Black Bishops players experienced success both at national and international level.
Four of the club’s players, Otsile Mapini, Thuso Mosutha as well as sisters, Thapelo and Onkemetse Francis, made the national team which competed at this year’s World Chess Olympiad that at Baku, Azerbaijan, in September.
At the said Olympiad, Mapini and Mosutha played brilliantly in national colours at the Olympiad, resulting in Candidate Master (CM) titles being bestowed on them.
Locally, Woman International Master (WIM) Onkemetse Francis had a very successful season as she dominated the local tournaments in the ladies section.
Onkemetse clinched gold in all elite tournaments on offer – the National Championships, Metropolitan, Maun Open and Botash International Open – brushing aside rivals such as WIM Boikhutso Mudongo as well as her sister Thapelo.
Francis attributed it to the club’s participation in all events and activities organised locally.
“Things turned out to be so good for our club this season. We have scored 6.5 out of 10 points so far this season,” Francis explained.
The Black Bishops manager also highlighted that the club also participated in the events organised by visiting Bulgarian Grandmaster (GM) Marian Petrov, which he says were very beneficial.
However, Francis said despite doing well in every activity, they were disappointed that there were not as many activities that gave clubs a chance to go head to head on regular basis.
On the youth development front, Black Bishops also scored some success as they became the only club to set up development section within their structures this season.
The development structure focuses on training and developing kids from the age of six to 15 years across the country.
“We have a trainer called Moroka Motlogelwa who is focused on kids. He sometimes reaches places as far as Kang just to lay the foundation of the sport for kids at an early age, and it has been a success,” Francis explained.
“The only challenge that we face is that there is no enough resources that can cater for everyone but we do our best. If it needs us to dig into our pockets it will in the best interest of sports,” added Francis.
Francis also highlighted their intentions to produce more national team players in all teams (males and females) and also to increase their participation in more international tournaments next year.
‘’We already have four players in the national team and we want to dominate the numbers in all teams. It’s our intention to host at least three tournaments of our own as a club in order to empower other players and clubs as the Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) encourages so as to contribute towards the development of the sport in the country,” he said.
The Black Bishops team manager also applauded the current BCF executive committee for their efforts and contribution towards the growth of the sport.