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Chess duo deserts Championships

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NO SHOW: Phemelo Khetho

Two of Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) top players Fide Master (FM) Phemelo Khetho and Candidate Master (CM), Barileng Gaelafshwe abandoned participation at the 2018 Botswana International Open Chess championships held in Gaborone this past weekend.

The two national team players returned from the 43rd Chess Olympiad staged in Georgia Batumi early this month. Khetho emerged the biggest winner amongst the local team scoring 6.5 from the 10 games played. His ratings also increased by a staggering 48 Elos. As for Gaealafshwe, he managed to bring home four points from the nine games he played.

The weekend international tournament sponsored by Debswana Mining Company was the BCF national team’s first assignment since the Olympiad. However Khetho and Gaelafshwe pulled out during the tournament. “We are still waiting to hear their reasons as to why they decided to pull out,” BCF Secretary General Tingwane Mokwadi said this week.

However, when reached, both Khetho and Gaelafshwe confirmed that they were not fit to play on the day. “There were a lot of things happening to me that day and I resorted to pulling out,” Khetho said. Olympiad exhaustion maybe?

“Yes that and other things, just like in a race, when the body is not responding, an athlete cannot bring out desired results,” he said.As for Gaelafshwe, he noted that he was failing to concentrate on the game. “I was dealing with personal issues that made it hard for me to focus,” Gaealafshwe said.

Mokwadi shared that going into the tournament, chess queen Women International Master (WIM) Onkemetse Francis had excused herself. This meant that they were already a limping lot. BCF expected that all the other national team players would be present on the day to boost chances of winning the tournament.

He was confident that the team has the right energy levels from the just ended games in Batumi and all geared up to dethrone Zambia. Zambia has always been a pain in the neck, not easy to penetrate and dominating the tournament in the past years.

“They are some of our strong players and having them in the team would have increased our chances of winning more medals,” Mokwadi said.Meanwhile, International Master (IM) Providence Oatlhotse of Botswana won the prestige section while Women Candidate Master (WCM) Constance Mbatha of Zambia is the ladies section champion.

Botswana ‘s Innocent Bosane won the open section. The tournament defending champions Women Fide Master (WFM) Lorita Mwango and IM Daniel Jere from Zambia did not participate at the 2018 games.

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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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