International Master Daniel Jere won Botswana International Chess Open convincingly after scoring an impressive eight out of a possible nine rounds. The annual event which took place over the Independence Holidays attracted the strongest chess players from Botswana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Jere rebounded from a crushing loss to South African Francois Orbeholzer in the second round to clinch the title. The last and most decisive round saw Jere lock horns with Botswana’s highest rated player Providence Oatlhotse. Providence who only needed to win the last game to clinch the title succumbed to Jere in a highly contested four hour game.
Jere walked away with the first prize of P6500,a trophy and a gold medal. Zimbabwe’s Dion Moyo followed closely on second position winning P4000 whilst Gilian Bwalya of Zambia won P3500 on third position.
The tournament saw the return of Tebogo Pitlagano who put up a sterling performance after defeating the highly placed Zambians Gillan Bwalya and Musatwe Simutowe.Pitlagano went on to get fourth position making him Botswana’s best performer in the tournament. Botswana’s silver medalist at the just ended All-Africa games Moakofi Notha ended the tournament with an impressive score of seven points despite missing the first round.
On the lady’s section, Zambia’s 18-year old Epah Tembo had a landslide victory over Botswana ladies as she accumulated eight points to walk away with the title and P3000 cash prize. Falling victim to Tembo’s tactical moves were Botswana’s most feared players Kgalalelo Botlhole and Boikhutso Mudongo.
The tournament was made possible thanks to sponsorship from Kalahari Associates, Gaborone International school, Boitekanelo college and digital dreams.
~ Tshenolo Maruatona, Vice President of Botswana Chess Federation