BCF to develop International Master by 2016
The president of Africa Chess Union (ACU) Lakhdar Mazouz has advised that for the game of Chess to be popular, it must be incorporated in the curriculum. Mazouz was speaking during Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) 30th Anniversary in Gaborone over the weekend.
“If Chess is part of curriculum, it will teach children to concentrate,” Mazouz observed.
Mazouz said playing chess in schools would help children to develop their capabilities. “If it is incorporated in the curriculum, the sport will spread across the country,” he said.
The ACU president, noted, however, that Chess as a sport in Botswana is growing. “They (the local federation) made very big steps forward as compared to ten years back. BCF is very active in local, regional and international tournaments,” noted Mazouz.
He advised BCF to keep on working hard, noting that, “hard work will give them the desired results. They must continue to have many local, regional and national tournaments.”
Former BCF secretary, Rupert Jones observed that BCF has done well in the past five years. “They have managed to secure sponsors and more are still coming into the game. The other plus is that they have many activities as compared to the past,” Jones said.
Aupa Monyatsi, the acting managing director of Barclays Bank of Botswana, applauded BCF for securing sponsors. “The ability to get the private sector support is testimony of BCF good management and accountability as business wants to deal with an organisation that is well managed.”
Monyatsi said the 30th anniversary attests that Chess, like other sporting codes, has made great strides. He said as a country, Botswana is at the tipping point of sporting success and that the momentum will have to be maintained.
Monyatsi advised that, “grassroots development is a sure way to sustainable growth for any sporting body and I take that other affiliates will take a leaf from Chess.”
The BCF president, Tshepho Sitale said the main aim of the 30th anniversary was “to celebrate success and to take chess to the stakeholders, be it the public, sponsors, sports community and potential partners to appreciate chess.”
On the progress of the game, Sitale said it is growing and their player’s rankings have been improving.
Sitale’s said their ambition is to develop an international master in the men’s category by 2016. The BCF boss added that they would now be focusing on primary schools to play chess. “We have established ourselves at junior and senior secondary schools. We have qualified instructors for development who are FIDE accredited,” he said, adding that, “Our challenge is that our instructors are working full-time and sometimes don’t have enough time for chess. We are going to engage BNSC to help us hire a development officer who will be full time in office to monitor the development of the game.”