His qualification to the most prestigious chess tournament, the Las Vegas USA Millionaire Festival was supposed to be his most celebrated moment. However International Master Providence Oatlhotse’s celebration was short lived as he now has to source funding to ensure he makes it to the USA. Excluding travel and costs for trainer expenses, he needs over P200 000 for preparations. Oatlhotse said even though the competition is just two months away he has not yet started his preparations. Shortage of resources such as specialised training equipment has been cited as the main set back. He also has to play some test matches in Europe prior the tournament to gauge his preparedness.
The Las Vegas USA Millionaires Festival brings together the very best of chess players across the continents to battle it out for the $1m prize money. Oatlhotse got the ticket to the prestigious tournament after winning the biggest tournament in Southern Africa to date at Tsogo Millionaire chess tournament in July. However, to him the focus is not the money but improving his ratings and also working towards attaining the Grandmaster title. Oatlhotse said given the competitiveness of this tournament one needs to go to it fully prepared. According to him, he needs a world class trainer to improve his speed and efficiency. Some of the equipments the acclaimed chess player would need to come closer to competing successfully at the Las Vegas USA Millionaires Festival include two digital boards and DGT clocks, multiple screen trainers, training software and Chess Engines relevant for this era.
All of these are said to be costing a lot of money which hampers proper preparations for the chess player. Unless Oatlhotse gets all the required equipment for preparations his dream of gaining a good world rating may not be realised. The player is therefore is appealing to good Samaritans to come to his rescue and help him with his preparations. “So far Kasparov Chess foundation has made arrangements to pay for my flight ticket and basic cost of stay during the tournament,” revealed Oatlhotse. According to Oatlhotse, having qualified for this tournament is a good thing because it opens a gateway of opportunities for local chess to especially in terms of development. He also said this gives a positive image to Botswana Chess Federation as its players will start to be seen among the world’s best chess players.
Oatlhotse is a passionate chess player and Botswana’s only International Master who started playing the sport in 2000. He has been making good strides in the chess arena to make a good name both for himself and the country. He wants to become a grandmaster title at 2500 rating by 2017.
Despite this the Mobile Chess Club and Academy member is also engaged in developing young talents to become future chess players. Mobile Chess Club is the only club in the country with a chess academy and Oatlhotse says his aim is to produce a record 20 young candidate masters by 2017. The acclaimed International Master is busy working with these kids to prepare them for the future.