The Botswana Chess Federation held the sixth annual Metropolitan National Championships this past week and Providence Oatlhotse and Boikhutso Mudongo emerged victorious in the male and female category, respectively.
The competition from other players was intense but the pair emerged victorious with just half a point separating them from their closest competitors.
Oathotse told Telegraph Sports that expectations were high based on his pedigree and his record but it was not an easy tournament but in the end he got his deserved reward.
“It was a hard field even if I was a clear favourite to win the event from the start after winning convincingly in leg one, leg two and now the final. I was a clear point ahead of the field in the last when I played my trainee in the last round who I offered a draw that reduced my last lead to half a point. That means I was comfortably on top of the game from round one,” he said.
Oatlhotse, who is an industrial designer by profession, is currently working for the public service at government printing and publishing services but still finds time to put in the time needed to perform at the highest levels.
Asked what his feeling was after his victory, he said he was honoured at being the first to win the championships for the fourth time.
“I felt like I am lucky to be the greatest player my country has ever seen. You know that feeling that you are ready to retire and give the game to the youngsters, after becoming the first player since Botswana Chess Federation was born in 1982, to win it for the fourth time,” he said.
Oatlhotse applauded the current committee, saying it is making progress, he said he hopes through the World Chess Federation (FIDE) like they are now doing in South Africa there can be chess initiatives instilled in school curriculums in Botswana.
Oatlhotse is set play in an event by the Kasparov Foundation to promote the same initiative at the end of this month.