A year after they were voted into office, Botswana Chess Federation’s (BCF) top brass held their first Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Oasis Motel last weekend.
The meeting came hot in the heels of the team selection for this year’s Chess Olympiad, which takes place in Batumi, Georgia.
One of the main talking points on the night was BCF’s four-year P1, 111, 200 sponsorship deal with Debswana.
Highlighting the significance of this partnership, the Federation’s President, Motlhokomedi Thabano revealed that for the first time in years the BCF were able to run a league.
He noted that over 22 teams across the country were taking part in the league, which was launched in January this year.
Praising the BCF’s Executive Committee for all they have achieved during their first year in power, Thabano stressed that the ultimate aim was to spread the game to all four corners of the country.
Some of these achievements include, purchasing of chess equipment for the blind by Limitless Minds Chess academy and FIDE, the world governing body for chess, holding a trainer’s seminar in Francistown, organised by Fountain of Gems Chess Academy.
The Sledge Chess Foundation also donated over 30 chess sets to prisons department and continues to train prisoners.
“In the past year, Botswana Chess continued to gain international recognition with a visit from the FIDE President, Mr Kirsan and two grand masters in the space of two months. While here Mr Kirsan pledged over P120, 000 from the Kirsan Foundation to BCF’s coffers,” highlighted Thabano, who further praised athletes for hoisting Botswana’s flag high.
Thabano commended the national team for their ‘outstanding performances’ at the African Schools Chess Championships and Zone 4.3 in Maputo, Mozambique
He pointed out that Botswana arbiters [chess referees] also continue to receive international recognition in Vincent Masole, Tshepiso Lopang and Roger Tiroyamodimo.
The trio will officiate at the upcoming Chess Olympiad, giving them a feel of running international events, which Thabano predicted would benefit Botswana chess in the long run.
In closing, the President said in their bid to increase the number of active titled players in Botswana – which currently stands at 38 – over 125 chess sets were donated to 25 schools around the country.