English Chess Grandmaster (GM) Nigel Short is impressed with the skills level of Botswana’s emerging players under the age of sixteen (16) years.
Speaking in an interview after playing a simultaneous match against 25 players, mostly aged under 16 years, Sharp said he has no doubt the country can produce another GM.
So far, Botswana has only one GM, being Woman Grand Master (WGM) Tuduetso Sabure.
“The players need cultivating because the raw material here is good, the children are pushed in the right direction. I have no doubt that we can produce a GM In this country. I was really impressed with certain players for giving me a difficult game, there is great room for improvement” he said.
While the British GM managed to win twenty-four (24) and draw only one game, which was against an older opponent in the name of Neeta Sadhana, he was however happy with the general display of his young opponents.
GM Short, who said he had come to Botswana to try and help the country find its next GM said from the display matches, there was no doubt that the country was doing its best to develop young talent.
Among those who impressed the English GM was the unheralded six year old Yaone Sebina as well as Marape Marape Jnr.
Being the last man standing, Marape Jnr in particular was outstanding as he not only earned a chance to play one-on-one with the GM, but also received some advice on how he missed a move or two from earning himself a draw.
Overall, GM Sharp said he was happy with the players’ understanding of the game theory, tactics and application.
The simultaneous match display, which was held at the Game City Mall, followed after a qualification tournament that was played two weeks back for players‘s selection.
Fort his part, the Coordinator for The Talking Chess Squares Trust Kenneth Boikhutshwane expressed happiness at how local players fared against the GM.
He noted that even though they could have won a game, in the end, coming with a draw from the encounter was a good outcome.
He said the players fought hard to give out their best and it has to be understood that it is not easy to play a GM.