Botswana Chess Federation in partnership with Metropolitan Botswana hosted the second stage of the 2016 Metropolitan National Chess championships over the weekend at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng.
The tournament saw top 23 players from the open section and 17 from the ladies section who qualified from the first stage which was hosted during the weekend of 5-6 March 2016 in Tlokweng battle it out for a slot in the finals. The finals will be held during the Easter holidays and will be played in a round robin tournament where the winner will walk away with the coveted and the most prestigious National Championship title.
This year’s tournament also included defending champion International Master Providence Oatlhotse but ladies section defending champion Woman Grand Master Tuduetso Sabure was unable to take part in the tournament due to personal commitments.
There were no upsets as Oatlhotse qualified top of the open section group with 5.5 points out of a possible 7 after winning 5 games and drawing 3 against Otsile Mapini, Gomolemo Rongwane and Candidate Master Moakofi Notha. Olebile Thato,Gumpo Thabo and Mosutlha Thuso also made it to the top 10.
In the ladies section, Woman International Master Onkemetse Francis took the lead of the section qualifying with 5 points out of a possible 7 after Kutlwano Tatolo failed to make it to the finals despite having qualified top of the ladies section group during the first qualifiers of the tournament. Tatolo finished a disappointing 12th. Mudongo Boikhutso, Francis Thapelo and Masaiti Besa will also participate in the next round.
The 2016 tournament is sponsored by Metropolitan Botswana to the tune of P120,000.00 who have enjoyed long standing relationship with Botswana Chess Federation which can be traced back to the early 2006, with Metropolitan sponsoring the National Chess Championships on an annual basis.
2013 championships were sponsored at a fee of P80, 000, 2014 event was increased to P108,750,00 while the 2015 also recorded yet another increment to P120,000.00.
Metropolitan Botswana chess sponsorship has grown over the years and the popularity of the tournament has reached almost every part of the country. A total of 205 players from all the 4 corners of the country took part in the first stage.