Thursday, February 29, 2024

Team Botswana impresses at the Chess Olympiad

The Botswana National Chess team is experiencing mixed fortunes at the on-going 2012 Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.

The team has been impressive, registering a couple of wins in the opening rounds of the games.

Among the most impressive for team Botswana were Providence Oatlhotse and Ignatious Njobvu in the men’s open section while Gorata Leso and Onkemetse Leso have also been impressive in the ladies’ section.

While Oatlhotse had won three of the five games he had played by the end of the sixth round on Monday, Njobvu had won four out of his five games.

Oatlhotse started his Olympiad brightly, claiming the scalp of Argentinean Grand Master (GM) Fernando Peralta. Things, however, did not go well for the local lad in the second round as he lost his game to Vorobjov Pavel of Estonia.

Oatlhotse then picked up the pieces in his third and fourth games as he beat Wim Blijstra of Netherlands and Fadi Eid of Lybia before losing his sixth round game on Monday to GM Ivan Ivanisevic of Serbia. Oatlhotse’s impressive streak will now see the local lad become the country’s first men’s International Master.

As regards Njobvu, after losing his first game of the Olympiad to Lorenzini Martin of Argentina, the local lad went on a four-game winning streak that left him with four points, the highest of all local players at the games.

Meanwhile, another local chess star, Barileng Gaealafshwe, has also been impressive in his outings this far in the Olympiad, having won three and losing two of his five games by the end of the sixth round on Monday.

The remaining two members of the men’s team, Cinky Boikanyo and Fide Master (FM) Phemelo Khetho had, on the other hand, won only a single game each from all the games they had played. The results saw the men’s team, which is ranked 107th in the World, sitting on the 64th spot in the rankings by the end of the fifth round on Sunday.

Meanwhile, in the ladies section, Leso and Francis were the best performers in the ladies team by the fifth round, having amassed two points apiece from their four games each. Leso has lost only one game and won one while drawing two games.

Francis, on the other hand, won two games but lost the other two games.

The other good performers in the ladies section were Bikhutso Mudongo and Ontiretse Sabure who had lost only two games, won one game and drew one by the end of the fifth round, thus accumulating 1.5 points in their four games each.

Tshepiso Lopang had only won one of her four games by the end of the fifth round. The games, which started on the 27th of August, will come to an end on the 10th of this month.


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