Botswana’s Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) International Organizer of Chess Events Vincent Masole says he is planning to host an Online National Chess Championships towards the of June.
Speaking in an interview with this publication, Masole noted that he decided to organize championships after realizing that people are starting to embrace the idea of playing chess online. This is particularly after normal tournaments were halted in order curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. “Even FIDE (International chess governing body) has decided that most of chess games must be played online now,” he told Gazette Sport in an interview.
Masole who is also the organiser of local COVID-19 Lockdown Online Daily Chess Sessions said the championships which are dubbed Botswana National Online Chess Blitz will be played in three stages. “We are going to have the first qualifiers which are going to be open for everybody, then whatever number we have from there will be reduced to 40, they will then play in the second qualifiers,” he said. “Only 10 players from that 40 will qualify for the finals of the championships in which the best online chess player will be decided.”
He said the reason why they are intending to host the championships at the end of June is that they are still sourcing for sponsorships from their partners.
Meanwhile, International Master Providence Oatlhotse emerged victorious during the COVID-19 Lockdown Online Chess session which was played this past Saturday. According to Masole, the tournament attracted 132 players across the country and was powered by former Botswana Chess President (BCF) president Tshepo Sitale to the tune of P1 000.
Meanwhile, BCF president Motlhoomedi Tlhabano lauded Masole for organising online tournaments stating that they are important to his federation as they are keeping almost all chess players active. “And we will not begin from scratch when we start with our programs. Our players will need only a week to play a tournament,” he briefly told this publication.