FRANCISTOWN – The Francistown Re Ba Bona Ha (RBBH) Chess centre over the weekend held a RBBH Junior Chess tournament at Our Lady of the Desert Primary School in Francistown. The tournament saw young competitors squaring off in six (6) competition categories over two days. Kezia Thabano was crowned champion in the Girls Under-7 Category ahead of Uba Mahilo who won silver. Noom Sigwele won the Girls’Under-9 while Mia Thabano won the under-11 category.
In the boys section, Keabetswe Rankuwane won the under-7 category, beating Frank Zikhale for the title while Payment Mogapi won in the Boys under-9. Former African Schools finalist Keaoboka Rankwane won the Boys under-11 category and was crowned best overall in the boys’ category. Benson Hirschfeld, Aryan Pattamona and Botho Makuwa won the under-13, under 15 and under-17 categories respectively. The tournament attracted 39 participants from different schools around Francistown and had players from Orapa and Nkange as well.
Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) Development Director Michael Mbaiwa congratulated the winners and urged all participants to keep working hard to improve their rankings and boost their chances of being selected to national junior teams. He lamented limited activities over the past few years due to COVID-19 to have affected attendance at the tournament and expressed hope that the next tournament will attract more players as many schools have recently started playing chess. The Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) Projects Officer Frederick Kebadiretse also attended the tournament.