Botswana International Junior Chess Championships slated for November will provide a special recognition for visually impaired chess players to compete at the championships for the first time. This follows Limitless Minds chess academy in partnership with Botswana Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted successfully introducing chess for the visually impaired program at Mochudi Resource Centre for the Blind. The sport for all approach by former Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) mouthpiece Keenese Katisenge is said to be growing in leaps and bounds.
Limitless Minds Chess Academy founder Keenese Katisenge told The Telegraph that players enrolled in the program have responded positively and will be among chess superstars competing in the Botswana International chess championship this year. ‘’For the first time in history, there will be a section for players living with disability at this year’s Botswana International Junior chess championship,” Katisenge told The Telegraph.
She added that commitment from players in the program is encouraging and as they are learning quickly. ‘’The youngsters are responding well to the program. We have concluded the first phase and we will be working on the second phase next term. The first phase involved enrolment, training needs and assessment of coaches and players. It was this phase that we trained trainers by teaching those basics and basis for beginners and chess rules. Players now understand chess pieces and movement of patterns. It is also encouraging to witness players commitment and passion to the game which is motivating as we will be advancing their skills,” narrated Katisenge.
Since the beginning of the program, 60 visually impaired students between the ages of 5-17 have been enrolled in the program and train twice a week. The program was boosted by Mascom with a P50 000 donation. The funds were used to purchase Braille chess sets, training of trainers for the visually impaired and getting the required resources for the game.