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Marape shines at African schools chess tourney
Chess wiz kid, Naledi Marape continues to prove her mettle after she won gold for Botswana at the just-ended African Schools Championships in Tlokweng.
By CALISTUS KOLANTSHO Wed 02 Sep 2015, 11:43

The rising young player amassed eight out of nine points in the Under-9 category. The win saw her qualify for the Woman Candidate Master (WCM) title, which will be awarded by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) next week.

Another local player, Abhiram Sasitharan won a gold medal in the Under-17 Open section after scoring 6.5 out of nine points. Sasitharan has qualified for the prestigious FIDE Master title.

Botswana continued to dominate the championships with Iphazha Masala bagging bronze in the Under-9 Open section after scoring 6 out of nine points.

Amaresh Kathiresan also won bronze for the country in the Under-13 Open section with 5.5 out of nine points. Koziba Kemoiile also made the country proud when she won silver in the Under-17 girls section with six points, qualifying for the Woman Candidate Master title.

The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) president,

Tshenolo Maruatona said the players could have won more medals but the main challenge was confidence. He said coaches must work on the issue of confidence among players. “We need to have more Under-7 players and train them.

We have realised that we have potential across different age categories, but we should catch them when they are still young,” Maruatona said.

One hundred and nineteen players aged between six and 17 years took part in the first edition of 2015 African Schools Chess Championships. Other players were drawn from Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Maruatona said the championship were his committee’s first continental assignment.

The week-long tournament gave the BCF an opportunity to compare notes with other federations. Winners qualify to play as guest players at the 2016 World Schools Individual Chess Championships to be held in Sousse, Tunisia.

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