Out-going President of Botswana Chess Federation Honored

Report by: Keenese Katisenge (BCF PR-Director)

The out-going President of Botswana Chess Federation and FIDE Zone 4.3 President Mr. Tshepo Sitale was on Saturday 8th June 2013, awarded the 2012 Sports Administrator of the Year at the 33rd Botswana National Sports Council Awards held in GICC, Gaborone. The award is given to the administrator who have led a Sporting Code that has excelled and there is clear demonstration of accountability, attraction of sponsors, positive media coverage and grassroots development.

Mr. Sitale was commended for successfully leading the Federation to great heights in 2012. In the year, the Federation celebrated 30 years of existence with the slogan ’30 years of making smart moves’. This is attested by ‘Re Ba Bona Ha’ grassroots program (Re Ba Bona Ha is a Setswana phrase that means catch them when young), which is run in Gaborone West, a high-density populated area mostly comprising of low income earners. The program which is sponsored by Debswana and the Botswana National Sports Council is meant for kids aged 6 years to 13 years in the community and are assembled during the week to play chess.
BCF is one of the active Federations in Africa and shining example that there is progress in African Chess. The Federation hosted the reigning World Chess Champion, Mr. Viswanathan Anand in 2009. The federation has hosted various Zonal & Continental event and they have local tournaments in average of every 2 weeks. Chess is recognized as a sport in Botswana and the Federation receives funding from the Botswana National Sports Council and has various Sponsors from major companies in the likes of Debswana, Metropolitan and National Development Bank.

Administratively, the Federation is run in a democratic system and annual Congress are held where clubs and associate members are given opportunity to have input on the affairs of the Federation. The award winning administrator Mr. Tshepo Sitale has voluntarily stepped down in May 2013, after leading the Federation for over 5 years and Presidency has been assumed by the former Vice President Mr. Tshenolo Maruatona. The new Executive Committee led by Mr. Maruatona is to lead the Federation for the next 4 years.


On the Doping

“Jerry, hurry up! I just got a man with beep-beep!!!” In his overexcitement the Romanian born Gabriel Mirza could not find the appropriate word for a computer device but came in the hall fast sprinting. Gerry Graham urged to the Gents. Mirza then forced the door and pulled out the suspect. It appeared to be sixteen-year old boy who admitted that had used the device. This happened on the 21 of April at the final day of the Cork Chess Congress in Ireland. Mirza and his opponent were on the lead with 3/4 at the time of the incident, a point behind their main rival.
The results of the player who was caught red-handed were erased and he was expelled from the tournament. So was Mirza who overreacted in this case. At first he peered from the top of the cubical wall and tried to grab the tablet from the hands of his opponent and later broke down the door. “What could I do?” said the devastated player later- “what would you do if someone steals from you?” However, since a minor was involved in the case and there was an aggressive behavior by the opponent the whole thing will be deeply investigated by the ICU.

It would have been funny if this was a separated case, but things start to get out of control lately.
Once that I was back in Bulgaria after this wonderful tournament I visited the Bulgarian Individual Championships. “Everyone here talks about one person”, said one of the participants, “-about Borislav (Ivanov)”. After his success in Villava, Spain- Ivanov took part at another rapid tournament- the “Bogomil Andonov Memorial” in Bulgaria. It was conducted just a couple of days prior to the start of the Bulgarian finals. Ivanov started with 3/3 then lost to IM Sasho Nikolov and recovered with three wins. Two of them were against Grandmasters. Peter Drenchev felt victim to fabulous tactics in the endgame, while Kiril Georgiev was simply swept off with simple moves. What they obviously did not like about the games (other than the result) was the fact that they opponent spent very little time on his clock to finish the game in his favour. And, as Kiril wrote on facebook “all moves after move 10 were with Houdini 3.”

Ivanov’s next opponent GM Grigor Grigorov solved the suspicion problem easily- he did not sit on the table for the game and lost on forfeit. This allowed a chance to the former to win the tournament with a draw in the last round.
The story felt too mean to happen at a tournament in memory of such a marvelous and easy-going personality like Bogomil. The first price of the event was 150 euro and the people did not gather there for the money but from respect of the man.
Therefore, during the finals the participants took actions and published the following statement:
“We are deeply convinced that the individual Borislav Ivanov uses electronic help during his chess games.
We declare that we are not going to participate in any tournament in which he might play if there is not specialized technique supplied which would guarantee that the usage of electronic devices in the venue is impossible.”
The letter was signed by almost all the participants in the final.
In the meanwhile the organizer of the 1-st Open Old Capital in Veliko Tarnovo denied access to Ivanov at his tournament. The latter threatened with court. Another scandal was looming, when a tricky solution was found.
Ivanov was granted access to the event. And after a draw in the first round he confidently grabbed the lead and with 5.5/6. It seems as another bright victory is on the way. But there was a catch…
The tournament regulations state that:
“If a player has more than two unplayed games he/she will not participate in the distribution of prizes!”
Guess what? In round four and round six Ivanov defeated IM Sasho Nikolov and Peter Drenchev on forfeit… He then defeated Alex Rombaldoni in round seven, and drew in round 8 against IM Kukov.
In the final round Ivanov was paired to play against IM Sasho Nikolov again. This was possible as the latter did not show for the first game.
Nikolov did not show once more, Ivanov won on forfeit. He should be the overall winner of the event with 8/9, but as he did not play 3 games, this is how the standings look like.
The players too care of the suspect...
In the meanwhile ACP launched the following statement:
“Dear friends,
We are glad to inform you that FIDE has supported the idea to establish the special anti-cheating committee, that will include a number of ACP representatives. If you are interested to be a member of the committee, please, submit your ideas and vision in a letter to the ACP Board

We will revise all the proposals and select two or three of our members that will represent the ACP in the anti-cheating committee.

Let's fight this plague together!”

You can read my opinion here.
We will be happy to hear more ideas and ways to handle the real doping in chess!