Oatlhotse’s record breaking feat

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 20 February 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
Oatlhotse Oatlhotse

Achieves highest ever rating for local chess player


International Master Providence Oatlhotse has become the first Motswana chess player to surpass the 2300 Elo ratings mark after clocking 2320 record rating which has cemented his status as one of the best in Botswana.

Elo is a Chess rating system which is used to calculate an estimate of the strength of the player, based on their performance against other players.


Oatlhotse has achieved this feat by attending various tournaments locally and internationally with the latest ones being South Africa Junior Blitz Open, eSwatini National Championship and Zimbabwe Open. This has earned him points and helped him to go up the ladder in ratings based on his outstanding performance at these tournaments.

IM Oatlhotse’s success in chess started way back in 2010 when he first acquired his first title as Candidate Master (CM) following a great performance at the 39th Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Nearly two years (2012) later Oatlhotse got the International Master (IM) title at the African Individual Chess Championships. After receiving the CM title he played at the Zone 4.3 Championships along the line which offered him the direct IM title without having to acquire Fide Master title first which was quite a leap.


However throughout the years, Oatlhotse has fought well as the highest rated player in the country to increase his ratings and to conquer Botswana and the rest of Southern Africa and probably the whole continent.

“This comes from a long way. I just accumulated success over the last year which has brought me to this record elo rating for Botswana at FIDE. It goes to show that all things are possible and it can be done in Botswana or Africa. It also means we can do better than this with the right system of training and tools, if we believe in our capabilities we can do it,” said Oatlhotse in an interview with Patriot Sports.


When asked on what his next step would be since he has reached a milestone record rating, which has never been achieved by anyone in Botswana, IM Oatlhotse said he has set his eyes on recording a 2400 rating before end of the year. “I don’t really target tournaments much; I’m just trying to complete my yearly start-up training plan as quickly as possible then go and hunt more ratings. If it works out right, even though it is time consuming I can expect to hit the 2400 rating sooner before later this year. I do not like the anxiety that comes with planning too many steps ahead of my complex sports career where a lot of things can change instantly but I will trust and calmly approach rating 2400. Once I’m there I know a lot of plans and deliberate offers will come sprouting everywhere,” said IM Oatlhotse.

The rating has earned IM Oatlhotse great benefit of automatically qualifying for the 2019 Zone 4.3 Chess Championships in Madagascar since no player can outshine him locally even after the national championship.    

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