The National Development Bank (NDB) has handed over a check to the tune of P55 000 to the Botswana Chess Federation as a form of sponsorship for the upcoming National Development Bank Club championships.
The first prize stands at about P6000, while the second is P5000, with the third receiving P4000.The teams are to be rewarded until position 12.
The Botswana Chess Federation will always be remembered as the first African club to invite world chess champion, Vishni Anand, to Botswana to promote the spirit of chess.
BCF has also had one of their own invited for international chess events.
Gorata Loso was invited to events as the 3rd best girl player in Africa. Despite the threat that was posed by the economic downturn in terms of sponsorship, NDB will be sponsoring the annual chess event for the fourth time since 2006.
This year about 19 schools are expected to compete in the tournament, this is an impressive increase compared to last year’s 11. Kenneth Boikhutswane, secretary general of BCF, declared the tournament as a high level championship event because it involves three secondary schools and teams from tertiary schools.
For the first time, the event will see student teams from private institutions taking part in the competition for the first time.
NIIT, GIPS and Limkokwing have expressed interest in taking part.
Although it’s not official yet, it is said that the Botswana Police and Prisons might also take part in this year’s event.
This year’s team composition sees one team having about 6 players, out of the 6, there is a strict requirement that there be at least one under 18 participant and at least one female player.
“By placing an under 18 in each team, we are making sure that there is a continuous feed to the national team, and by the female player we are practicing what we prefer to call positive discrimination because we want our female players to excel in this area of sports as well,” said Boikhutswane.
Acting CEO of NDB, Tshekiso Monyatsi, said that NDB was proud to be sponsoring the event as he believed that chess was an important sport in building discipline and the entrepreneurial spirit within its players. He likened chess to business with the conclusion that they both require strategic thinking.
“Chess is an important sport, it provides exercise for the mind, I am actually a bit disappointed that there are only 19 teams participating. The BCF should do more to attract clubs, although I can’t promise that we will continue the sponsorship, for those who have the ambition to be entrepreneurs, strategic thinking in business is built up through chess, which is a good way to prepare the mind,“ said Monyatsi.
The president of the clubs committee, Mosenya Ndawana, commended NDB for the good they have done for Botswana chess by offering sponsorship, even through difficult times.
Ndawana said that the P55 000 was only but monetary value given to them by the NDB.
“NDB is also sponsoring our teams with t-shirts and caps and other necessities required for the tournament, therefore if we were to calculate, the total costs would come up to about P70 000, and for that we are truly grateful. NDB has continued their partnership with us and has proved that this is a very important process for the existence of our chess clubs. What they are doing for our clubs is more than a mere sponsorship; it’s keeping our clubs alive, that is why I called it a partnership,” said Ndawana.
The defending champions of last year’s championship were Poisonous Snakes; position two had gone to Khumbani Forces while Mochudi Chess Club had the number three spot.