Masango wins Bots Chess Open The Crystal Candy chess tournament saw the participation of over 450 school-going players from across the country’s 10 provinces. 

Takudzwa Chitsiga
Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Chess Federation have hailed player Spencer Masango who was crowned the 2021 Botswana Open Prestige champion at the Legae Academy in Gaborone at the weekend.

Masango defeated Gomolelo Rangawane of Botswana in a very tense encounter which he converted excitingly to pocket a cool 12 000 Pula.

The Zimbabwean managed 7/8 points to land him the coveted title in the tournament where he had fellow countryman Taurai Muzhingi.

Masango had to shrug off a fifth-round disappointment following his defeat against the tournament’s highest-rated player, IM Providence Oatlhotse, the only International Master in Botswana. The Zimbabwean seem to be down and out against Phemelo Kheto, a Tswana champion with a rating of 2188, but managed to regain his composure and won the game.

Masango was drawn against his fellow countryman Fide Master Muzhingi in the sixth round and he saw him off.

Tournament’s highest-ranked player was held to another draw by Candidate Master Barling Gaealafshwe in the final round. This was a theoretical draw in IM Oatlhotse failed to convert with a Bishop and outside passed pawn, which could not gain tempo in the game.

On the other hand, Masango took care of business by defeating Candidate Master Mosutha Thuso in a nail-biting affair before the Zimbabwean won another end-game which was very tactical and pressing. It was the biggest cash prize for the tournament, followed by IM Oatlhotse, who had six points and walked away with 8 000 Pula.

Fide Master Phemelo Kheto, another Motswana, received 6 250 Pula after finishing third tied on 5.5 points with Mosutha Thuso.

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