Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) president, Tshenolo Maruatona has come out strongly against players who complain about prize money they receive after competitions. He said chess is not for monetary gains, adding players should accept what they are offered.
Maruatona said chess in Botswana has not reached a stage where players can make a living out of the sport.
He was speaking at the launch of the 2016 Metropolitan National Chess Championships on Wednesday. He said the sponsorship has been running for over 10 years and that the support remains strong. He said they expect the relationship to go a long way.
The insurance company sponsors the national championships for P120,000. The tournament will be played over three stages being: the first and second qualifiers and the finals. The first stage of the tournament will be open to all players regardless of their strength. The championships will see the top 23 players from the Open section and top 17 women qualify for the second stage where the defending champions will join them. The finals are scheduled for Easter holidays. International Master, Providence Oatlhotse
is the reigning national champion while Woman Grand Master, Tuduetso Sabure is the women’s defending champion.
The first prize for Open section is P10,000 while the winner in the women section receives P8,000.
“We are sending a team to the 2016 Olympiad and it is always a norm that most of the squad members are players who have won this tournament before. That is an indication that the tournament brings out the best in players,” Maruatona said. Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) executive assistant, Steady Basupang said the partnership between Metropolitan and BCF is important. He said sporting codes are looking up to the BNSC for support including funding and it is impossible to meet the demand. He said they are grateful for the assistance that the federation is getting and remain hopeful that it continues for many years to come.