MaP Checkmates ISSA
The long anticipated derby between Maru-a-Pula and the International School of South Africa (ISSA), kicked off on Saturday the 29th of October on the Maru-a-Pula school campus. Sports activities ranged from football, netball, basketball, tennis, swimming and chess. The MaP chess team was coordinated by Faith Mbakhwa and it defeated ISSA with a score line of nine points for MaP and one point for ISSA. The French room was the venue for the derby and the starting time was eleven o’clock. The chess team consisted of Form One MaP students such as, Thomas Thomas, Sedia Modise, Emmanuel Kitso, Anubhav Awasthi, Saigopal Sangaj and Amanda Manyika. According to Faith Mbakhwa, “the chess team does not have a coach”. Faith acted as the coordinator alongside George Managoba and she said that she worked hand in hand with Mr. Nkala to make the tournament a success. One student from ISSA by the name of Christina acted as the coordinator for the ISSA chess team. This was done to ensure fairness at the tournament. MaP players felt confident about their skills because before the first round commenced, Amanda was asked how she felt and her response was, “I feel Ok”. Emmanuel also said that “I am not nervous” when he was interviewed.
The ISSA players were Tinashe, Gofaone, Zidaan, Nomzamo and Lebone. They were also as eager to start as the MaP team. During the course of the matches, Anubhav and Zidaan’s match was disturbed by an incident whereby one player made an illegal move to capture the opponent’s piece. The coordinators intervened and resolved the matter immediately. When round one was over, each individual MaP player had won their game thus giving their team a five point lead against ISSA. Faith was happy about the win as she said, “I am ecstatic that we were able to beat ISSA because South African teams have a reputation at the Botswana chess games”. Sedia also expressed his tactical approach to the first round by stating that “I use my opponent’s weaknesses against them” and Emmanuel on the other hand said that he felt good about winning his first round. Round two was the final round that would determine if the derby would end in a draw or win for MaP. During the course of the second round, Sedia accidentally forgot to switch off his cellphone. This was a disobedience of the chess rule that was written on the board which says ‘all cellphones must be turned off during the match; any player would be disqualified if their cellphone rang during a match’. As a result, he got disqualified and Tinashe from ISSA won a point for their school. When Sedia checked why his cellphone rang and he was surprised to find out that it was a competition promotional message from Mascom. His reaction to that was, “I am very angry at Mascom for sending me that sms”. After all the commotion, the remaining MaP players won their games to beat ISSA with nine points to one in the end. With the last closing remarks of the day, Faith thanked Thuto Mogorosi, Daniel Murashiki and Geofrey Oteng Phutietsile for helping with the tournament.