Local chess star Besa Masaiti will travel to United States of America in July to continue her Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) elite scholarship.
Within two weeks, Masaiti will travel to commence her second year of study at the Texas Tech University in the USA.
She was awarded the scholarship after she made it to the top achievers in her school and she won the 2018 BNSC Sportsperson of the year award.
Masaiti explained that she had already completed her first year of study in Botswana and is now left with just three more years before graduation, which will be on May 2024.
“I am excited to be leaving for school. The Knight Raiders team (Texas tech chess team) is quite formidable and headed by grandmaster Alex Onischuk,” an excited Masaiti explained.
“I am happy to be working with such chess enthusiasts to improve my game. I want to become a chess grandmaster in the future,” she added.
According to Besa, Texas University will give her the chance to play many more annual tournaments as compared to Botswana for rating improvement. She mentions that she working with the BNSC to procure a chess grandmaster to coach me her via the scholarship.
For his part, Masaiti’s mentor and father, Charles Masaiti said her daughter and chess protégé has successfully balanced sport and school.
He said the Besa was faced with a tough decision whether to go abroad or to go to a local University due to the pandemic and restrictions.
Despite studying online for a year, Charles said in the first semester of her first year, Besa won a President award, which is rated the highest honour that the University offers to excelling students. He added that in the same semester, she also won the Dean’s award also awarded to performing students.
Besa ‘s chess achievement since 2020 to date include; Francistown Open 2020 Silver medal, Metropolitan national championship gold 2020, Zone 4.5 Ladies Championship team bronze medal 2020, African Online individual 2021 u-20 girls silver medal, Arab-African Online Women’s final championship 2021 6th position, Queen’s festival Women’s African, team Botswana qualified to the finals as 1st position (board 2) and Botswana Open Ladies championship silver medal 2020.