2013 Botswana National Championship

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The 6th Metropolitan chess championships will take place this weekend in Palapye where the top 20men and top 20 women will crack their heads in a fiercely anticipated chess tournament.

The Sponsor

The tournament is sponsored by Metropolitan to the tune of P80,000. This is the 6th year that Metropolitan and Botswana Chess Federation have partnered to produce the country’s champions on both the men and women categories. The Metropolitan sponsorship has grown over the years and the popularity of the tournament has reached every part of the country. This is evidenced by the highest participation recorded at the first qualifiers for the tournament.

Structure of the Tournament

The tournament is played in three fold. The first qualifiers took place in Gaborone where the top 20men and 20 women qualified from over 500 participants. The second stage of the tournament will see the top 10 in both categories secure themselves a place at the finals.

The finals will be a round robin tournament where the winner will walk away with the coveted and the most prestigious National Championship title. The title attracts a gold medal and cash prizes on both categories. Both champions will represent the country at regional tournament

The Race for the title

Providence Oatlhotse

On the men’s side International Master Providence Oatlhotse is the reigning National Champion and the only local player to win the title record 4times.Oatlhotse will seek to increase his tally and he is highly favoured to walk away with the title. His confidence on the board has blossomed following his latest attainment of the IM title.

Oatlhotse will surely not have a field day as he will be up and against the seasoned players in the likes of FM Ignatious Njobvu, FM Phemelo Khetho and CM Barileng Gaealafshwe. The trio are expected to cruise to the finals with minimum effort. The other players will have a busy day as the try to make it to the finals. Whilst the strength of the other players is relatively equal, the chess analysts have penciled Boikanyo Cinky, Olebile Thato, Moakofhi Notha and Thabo Gumpo for the finals. The remaining positions will be filled by the best players on the day.

On the ladies side, WIM Boikhutso Modongo is favoured to make it to the final to defend her title. Arguably the best achieved women player in the country, Modongo is the only woman to have won the national championship four times in her playing career.

Boikutso Mudongo

WIM Boikhutso Mudongo will lead the field.
Photo by GM Sergey Tiviakov.

The impending return of WGM Tuduetso Sabure has sent shivers within the women players. Sabure has been absent from the game for sometime and she will have to keep up with the swiftness and tactical awareness of young players like Kgalalelo Botlhole and Gorata Leso.

The finals will be held in Gaborone.

~ Tshenolo Maruatona

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  1. Pingback: Daily Chess News Links February 23, 2013 | blog.chesscafe.com
  2. Gaealafshwe dominates Metropolitan Chess Challenge

    Candidate Chess Master Barileng Gaealafshwe continued his winning streak as he dominated the Metropolitan Chess Championships. The one time Botswana National Champion has reclaimed his form as he hopes to increase his tally as the National Champion.

    Candidate Master Gaelafshwe Barileng

    Gaealafshwe started the tournament on a high note by outplaying David Mooketsi in the famous Botvinnik variation after Mooketsi missed some key moves in the middle game. On his menu for the day, Gaealafshwe went on to outclass national team player Cinky Boikanyo and medallist Moakofi Notha. He finished the tournament sitting comfortably on top with a total score of 5.5 out of 7.

    The Metropolitan Chess Championships second round consisted of the top 24 players on both men and women categories. The tournament is sponsored to the tune of P80,000 and seeks to crown National Champions on both men and women categories. The top 10 players on both ends qualified for the finals which will be in Gaborone end of March.

    This year’s race for the celebrated title in the country is of epic proportions as most players fancy their chances. The reigning National Champion international Master Providence Oatlhotse will fight tooth and nail to defend his title. He is rumoured to have indicated his intentions to resign from active play as this will be his fifth win of the coveted title. Oatlhotse’s nemesis, fide Master Phemelo Khetho has his eyes on the crown and is highly favoured to put a good fight in pursuit of his forth national championship title.

    The other players who stand equally the same chances are Fide Master Ignatious Njobvu, Moakofi Notha, Thabo Gumpo and veteran player Kenneth Boikhutswane. Boikhutswane’s return came against the chess critics who had already written his chess obituary.

    WFM Boikhutso Mudongo

    WIM Boikhutso Mudongo

    On the ladies section, Women International Master Boikhutso Modongo continued her journey to defend her title. Modongo finished on pole position with a convincing 5 points out of 7.

    This year marks six years of sponsorship by Metropolitan Botswana.The partnership has grown in leaps and bounds and this has seen the sponsorship amount increasing every year. The Metropolitan championships is the most popular tournament in the country as it also provides the platform for winners to compete internationally.

    ~ Tshenolo Maruatona

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