Olebile wins Botswana Junior!

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In a tussle that saw the country’s best 20 juniors lock horns, Thato “Kotov” Olebile proved too hot to handle as he dominated the tournament with overwhelming command.

The star studded tournament consisted among others CM Thabo Gumpo (former Under 21 champion and National team player), CM Kagiso Morwamang and Botswana’s representatives at the upcoming Africa youth Championships Abdul Kamara and Ogaufi Tangane.

Thato Olebile

Olebile started the tournament on a high notch beating his fiercest opponent David Mooketsi in a closed Sicilian Dragon. This followed a well calculated Bishop sacrifice on b2 in what appeared like a well balanced end game.

The fifth round saw Olebile come face to face with the tournament’s favourite Thabo Gumpo. The game ended with the two players sharing the spoils after a well played Nimzo Indian defence by Gumpo.

The tournament revealed yet another sensation, 16-year old Goabaone Tangane who finished comfortably on position two.The 3rd position went to the fastest improving Tumelo Seane. The duo of Olebile and Tangane have booked themselves space at the upcoming Botswana Closed that will bring together the best ten players in the country.

On the lady’s section WCM Onkemetse Francis proved her mettle when she accumulated 7.5 points out of 8 to finish ahead of Stephanie Mokhutshwane who scored 6.5 points. The reigning women national champion and sister to Onkemetse,Thapelo Francis finished on position 3.

Thapelo Francis will lead the Botswana forces as they compete in Zambia for the Africa Youth Championships. The team will be under the care of CM Ignatius Njobvu and Israel Makwati.


Tshenolo Maruatona, Vice President, Botswana Chess Federation

Daaim Shabazz

Dr. Daaim Shabazz is the creator and webmaster of The Chess Drum. He serves as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds an MBA in Marketing and a doctorate in International Affairs & Development. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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