Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) has adopted various resolutions at last weekend’s consultative meeting with clubs in Gaborone.
BCF hosted a consultative meeting with clubs on Sunday to come up with new statutes which will govern the Debswana Chess League. The league, which was introduced last year, is sponsored by the mining giants Debswana to the tune of amount of P127 000 per season.
Key amongst the decisions is that clubs should submit their team lists by the 15th of February before the commencement of the league on the 2nd of March. In addition it was agreed at the gathering that Blue Books for players will be introduced for easy facilitation of transfer of athletes.
“Sometimes we have situations where players appear in more than three teams – that is why we bring in blue books such that we can be able to monitor players well. A proposal for a team to be composed of eight players has been also endorsed,” said BCF secretary general Mokwaledi Tingwane.
Still at the same gathering clubs and the mother body decided on introducing relegation and promotion for the league in order to bring exciting action in the league.
“Starting from next year there will be relegation; clubs have agreed that we establish a premier division as well as a first division so that teams will relegate at the end of the season. The two leagues will be running at the same time. It has been decided that 10 clubs will play in the premier league while in the first division we will have eight teams. New entrants will start at the first division. But for relegation and promotion number position nine and ten from the premier league will play teams in position one and two from first division. The best two winners from the playoffs will then occupy the slots,”Tingwane explained.
Various club representatives have expressed happiness at the new changes. “We are happy with the developments and contribution made because this will help in the development of young players. This will make clubs to go an extra mile to recruit young players and keep them active in the absence of school events,” said Mavis Mere of Ice Queens Chess Clubs.
Gosego Maeze of Delta Pawns Club added: “We are glad because those proposals are mainly to develop young players which of course are a positive move forward. We, however, struggle to source young players something that we can fix though we now have a network to local academies and will be working with them to develop our youngsters”. The same sentiments were shared by Gosego Gasepale – President of Sicil Club – who said even though they are yet to discuss the reforms in depth at his club they have warmly welcomed the changes.
The clubs together with BCF executive committee have adopted Friday as an official day for tournaments in order to improve the time control and increment of rounds. In terms of the national team Tingwane said the players’ selection criterion has been changed.
“As per the national team selection criteria the highest rated player (not the national champion) shall represent the country at the Zone 4.3 Chess Championships in April.BCF going forward will come with a model selection for international individual tournaments. This means we are going to send only two players to Zone 4.3. IM Providence Oatlhotse has already qualified because of his highest rating which no one can overcome even after the national championship so right now we will be looking for a female representative,” he said. Oatlhotse occupies the slot for the highest rated player as he has just surpassed the 2300 Elo rating mark; he is currently sitting on 2320.