…Wins first two games at Africa Chess Champs
Botswana’s upcoming chess star Fide Master (FM) Thato Olebile is looking to end the year on a high note, after posting a strong start at the African Individual Chess Championships in Namibia. Olebile – Botswana’s only representative at the tournament – opened his account by winning his two opening games.
The tournament, which is on-going, will end on December 23, 2014 and Olebile is looking to improve on his rating at this event. After round two the youthful player, who started at position 14, had moved to position 3 before losing to the number 1 ranked International Master Farahat Ali of Egypt to fall to position 7.
The winners of both the open and women sections will automatically be awarded the Grandmaster and Women Grandmaster titles respectively. The 2014 Individual Chess Championships will also be used as qualifiers for the 2015 African Chess Confederation Grand Prix Circuit with only top three players qualifying from both categories.
Should the 23-year-old Olebile be able to maintain the good performance he started with he may get an opportunity to be awarded the title of International Master. Botswana currently has only one player with this title being Providence Oatlhotse.
Botswana Chess Federation spokesperson Keenese Katisenge said the youngster was the only one representing the country because of the association’s financial constraints. She said Olebile was selected because of his impressive performance throughout the year.
During the year, Olebile has shown great commitment to the game and the results have been showing. His impressive performance was rewarded when he was awarded the Fide Master title at the 2014 World Chess Olympiad in Norway. This is a tournament that brings together the highest ranked and best players in the world and yet Olebile managed to have his title upgraded.
Locally Olebile was a silver medallist of the 2014 Botswana International Open Chess championships and also won silver with his club En Passent at the 2014 National Development Bank Clubs Chess Championships. He won a gold medal at the FIDE 2014 Rated Blitz Chess Tournament.