Kelathilwe Kelapile: “Khanty is an amazing city! Especially its mammoths!”

– How is it going for your team at the Olympiad? – question to the team captain Kelathilwe Kelapile.

K.K.: In the first round we lost 0-4 to the Netherlands, in the next round defeated Seychelles with the same score. In the third round we lost to Equador.

– Equador can hardly be considered one of the favorites of the Olympiad...

K.K.: Neither are we. Well, they have international masters and a grandmaster, and we only have one WGM and one FM.

– What is the name of your grandmaster?

K.K.: Tuduetso Sabure. She plays on the first board.

– At what age children in Botswana begin to learn chess?

K.K.: They start learning it in kindergarten and keep studying at school, and then everyone decides whether he or she wants to continue...

– FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov actively promotes the program “Chess at schools”. Does it work in Botswana?

K.K.: Yes, of course. FIDE delegates Mr. Blanco and Mr. Vega came to our country in 2008 to help us establishing this program. Right now more than two thousand children and students study chess on regular basis.

– You probably have a support of the Goverment? What is it?

K.K.: Yes, I can’t complain. Many members of the National Olympic Committee are chess players, and of course they are eager to help our chess federation. Old love does not rust, – respectively, they all support the chess federation. For example, they secured funds for the national championship.

– Tell us more about it.

K.K.: The national championship of Botswana is attended by all the strongest players of the country and consists of three stages. The final stage is a round-robin tournament for 10 players.

– How do you like the organization of the Olympiad?

K.K.: We like everything here!

– How about the weather? It must be really cold compared to Botswana...

M.K.: At home it’s just too hot right now. Therefore, we even like the climate of the Khanty-Mansiysk.

K.K.: That’s right. I prefer Siberian morning frost to African heat.

– But the weather in Ugra is very unstable. Did you bring your fur coats with you?

K.K.: (laughing) No, we made a thorough preparation for the trip and examined the forecast in internet! We didn’t bring any  fur coats, although we did bring plenty of warm clothes.

– Have you been in Russia before?

M.K.: No, this is our first visit, but hopefully not the last one, because we extremely like this country and its friendly people.

– What was the most stunning experience here?

M.K.: We were completely stunned by beautiful and colorful Khanty-Mansiysk autumn.

– Do you like the city?

M.K.: Of course! Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to see everything. The only place we visited is the Archeology park.

– And how did you like it?

M.K.: A fantastic place! Especially the mammoths!