BCF Laments Early Exit of Sole Representative at Chess World Cup

But BCF spokesman takes a philosophical view and points to the superiority of the Grandmasters who reign supreme in the global chess arena


In a touching moment for the Botswana Chess Federation (BCF), the sole representative of Botswana, International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse, faced an early exit in the first round of the highly competitive Chess World Cup.

But the Secretary General of BCF, Mokwaledi Tingwane, is philosophical about the rather unpleasant turn of events, pointing out the tough nature of the tournament and dominance of top-tier players, particularly Grandmasters, in a telephone interview.
He spoke of the significant challenge faced by African players in the Chess World Cup, pointing out that while many possess the prestigious International Master title, they are not quite on par with the Grandmasters who reign supreme in the global chess arena.


Formidable opponents
He singled out countries like Egypt and Algeria, which boast Grandmasters, for their capability to contend with such formidable opponents present in the tournament.
“To compete at a higher level, we must first strengthen our foundation at home,” Tingwane emphasised.

He underscored the importance of establishing local tournaments of international calibre as a stepping stone for players aiming to participate in global events. Participation in more international tournaments, he added, would contribute to the growth and development of Botswana’s chess scene.
The struggles faced by IM Oatlhotse were further illuminated by Tingwane, who attributed his underperformance to lack of adequate funds for preparation.

Training alone
“Unlike other National Sports Associations, we do not have permanent trainers or coaches for our national teams and mainly rely on coaches provided by FIDE when we participate in the Olympiad,” he said. “When you train and prepare alone, you cannot deliver desirable results.”

IM Oatlhotse found himself among a select group of 206 players participating in the single-elimination Chess World Cup in the bustling city of Baku, Azerbaijan where the tournament began on 30 July and will end on 24 August.

This year’s iteration marks the prestigious event’s 10th anniversary, celebrated for its tradition of fierce competition and knack for uncovering fresh talent.