Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) is planning its return to competitive events next month, Gazette Sport has established.
The sporting code like many others in Botswana and around world has been inactive due to restrictions that were meant to curb the spread of damnable COVID-19 pandemic. Now after weeks of hibernation, BCF is plotting its return to competitive events with the Metropolitan National Chess Championships scheduled to take place between the 14th and 18th of July.
Chess comes back after the government through the Presidential COVID-19 Task Force decided to give some sporting codes (like chess) a green light to return to competitive events . They are nevertheless, given a go ahead under strict measures like holding competitions behind closed doors and adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
“We received a letter from Botswana National Sport Competitions (BNSC) that stipulated that we can resume with our activities in a controlled manner,” BCF president Motlhokomedi Tlhabano told Gazette Sport in an interview. “So we are planning to host our Nationals next month, we want to test our readiness with it.”
He said they opted to mark their return with the Nationals because they were supposed to be held during the Easter holidays (two weeks after sporting activities were suspended).“And we were already done with the competition’s premilinary rounds ,” he said. Sponsored by Metropolitan to the tune of P90 000, the Nationals will pit together 18 women and 24 men who will be battling out for supremacy in each category.
With the Nationals on the radar, it means local chess players can finally breathe a sigh of relief as they finally have more action lined up. This is after the country’s Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) International Organizer of Chess Events Vincent Masole last month told this publication that he planning to host an Online National Chess Championships towards the of this month.
He said decided to organize championships after realizing that people are starting to embrace the idea of playing chess online. This is the man who also the organised COVID-19 Lockdown Online Daily Chess Sessions which kept local chess players busy during the lockdown.