The competition will be held at Botho University and played in three categories, the prestige, open and ladies sections. On top of local players, the competition is expected to draw participation of players from neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Malawi.
Speaking during unveiling of the sponsorship, Kanaimba-Senai stated that Debswana had spent approximately P500,000 in sponsorship of the tournament over the past five years. She said the company was happy that the support had helped the tournament to grow.
"We have seen an increased interest from neighbouring countries in participating in the event. This has gone a long way in helping our local players gauge their play against the best in Africa. We have seen an increase in the number of titles and ratings coming out of this event. This is a good measure of the benefits of this partnership," Kanaimba-Senai said.
BCF president, Tshenolo Maruatona expressed his federation's appreciation of the sponsorship and explained that the event had grown tremendously over the past five years. He said the sponsorship by Debswana had also grown over the years from P40,000 five years ago.
Maruatona stated that the federation was looking to have the event recognised at a FIDE level, so that players could gain title from doing well in the event.
"We want to get to a level where players who play in this tournament can earn a title from FIDE. That is what we are working on with the authorities and it is just a matter of time," Maruatona said.