Botswana chess players compete online during lockdown

Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) has adopted the private online gaming as a way of supporting players and keeping their minds abreast with the game during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online gaming has kept players across the country active. With the current suspension of tournaments BCF has advised players to use the Lichess application to keep playing chess digitally.

“Most of the chess players across the country have downloaded the Lichess App and created user accounts. Vincent Masole set up a tournament called COVID-19 Lockdown blitz challenge which takes place everyday at 8pm to 10pm," BCF spokesperson Jade Tatolo said in an interview.

The most number of participants is 107 across the country including people in Maun region, Nkange, Masunga, Mochudi, Charles Hill and many more. All the National Team players also took their time to participate in the tournament. IM Providence Oatlhotse won most of the tournaments and as things stand the platform is highly competitive and has benefited both senior and youth players. This has seen 11 year old Thuto Mpene also playing out in the tournaments, after his parents registered him for the online platform.

"In my opinion this is the most intriguing chess activity we have ever had in the country. We thought having chess tournaments every weekend was a lot, now people are playing chess everyday. The commitment is remarkable. After this lockdown we will have improved players." Tatolo also implored other sport codes to also explore digital arenas where possible. This would help to keep out of boredom and just sitting idle at home having nothing to do in the era of innovation and technology there is a need take advantage of many technological advancements.