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  • But the BCF president says all is not lost for his code as players can now turn to online training to sharpen their skills

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

Even though the effects of the COVID-19 (Corona virus) have affected their schedule, Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) Motlhokomedi Tlhabano says all is not lost for his code as players can now turn to online training to sharpen their skills.

Just like any other sporting code globally, the BCF is a victim of the COVID-19. This is not so because of infections reported within the local chess but because like so many others in the sports industry, the bottom has fallen out of BCF’s mode of operation. Due to the accelerating pandemic, BCF have been forced postpone their league games and National Finals to later dates. However, according to Tlhabano all is not lost for his code as players can now turn to online training to play against international players.

“Obviously it’s now difficult for players to train physically together. The good thing though with chess is that players can play online. They can also study things like, videos, softwares individually to better their skills. Internet uploads are also available for continuous training,” said Tlhabano in a telephonic interview with Gazette Sport. “So, I would say players still have access to the beautiful game. Corona is the bigger picture for now and social distancing seems to be the best model, lets safe Botswana first as well as our athletes.”

With that, he said the spread of the virus is unlikely to affect BCF programs as compared to Ministry of Basic Education’s decision of suspending school sports this year. “As this now means that junior events participation will be affected and sporting new talent will be difficult without schools,” Tlhabano stated. “We are now solely forced to be dependent on parents and academies.”

Meanwhile, the spread of the virus have also forced the International Chess Federation to postpone this year‘s Chess Olympiad to next year. “Therefore, God willing with Corona gone we will have a chance to prepare even more,” the BCF leader noted. The COVID-19 had infected over 680 000 people and killed more than 35 000 globally as at the time of going to press yesterday (Monday).

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