Botswana: Chess Champ Drills Young Minds
By Kebalepile Phuthego
Francistown — Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) on Saturday June 4engaged the 2015 Junior Champion, Otsile Mapini to impart some chess skills to youngsters under the Francistown Debswana Re Ba Bona Ha centre.
Development director at BCF, Mothokomedi Thabano said in an interview that the expo which was held at Galo Mall aims to give young players an opportunity to showcase their talent and at the sametime giving them a tournament setting under the guidance of a senior player.
He said the expo also gives BCF an opportunity to continue the kids’ training needs assessment as they would be getting feedback from Mapini after the games.
The exposition attracted 50 youngsters of ages five to 15 years from the centre and different schools around Francistown.
All the youngsters in attendance got a chance to play against Mapini simultaneously to check their strength, their response time and overall performance.
Thabano said some of the players from the centre, namely Botlhe Lekang, Onneetse Rankwane and Tshepiso Smith were the qualifiers for the next level of African Youth Championships to be held on a date yet to be set.
He expressed happiness over the performance of the youngsters, noting they had shown improvement on engagement and performance since opening of the centre, which is based at Our Lady of the Desert Primary School.
The centre was officially opened in 2014 and so far has boosted over 100 kids from ages of five to 15 years. Thabano encouraged all players to join the centre to improve their skills and get exposure to be successful in their game.
Mophato Private School form four student, Caron Moloi appreciated the expo as it gave her exposure to play with a senior who is more experienced than her, adding that she has learnt a lot about being confident during the game.
“If I was not confident, I was going to lose but because I did not surrender fast, we challenged each other and it gave me courage to fight to win though I lost, but it was an experience I am grateful for,” said Moloi.