Chess Federation moves to ‘catch them young’

Chess Federation moves to ‘catch them young’

MASERU – The Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) held its annual Junior Chess Championship last Saturday in Maseru where over 60 hopeful contestants showed up to compete in different age group categories.

Speaking to thepost on Tuesday, CFL spokesperson Selatela Khiba said the federation was happy to see more children entered into the Under-10 category compared to previous editions.

He said the CFL’s aim in hosting the championship is to prepare the kids for international tournaments and to keep the CFL’s player database up-to-date.

“We also want to know who the best performing players are, in order to have a smooth selection for (international) championships,” Khiba added.

Four categories were contested at the Junior Chess Championship being the Under-18, Under-16, Under-12 and Under-10 competitions.

Thabang Mphane was crowned the Under-18 winner and went home with a trophy, gold medal and M100 while Lebajoa Tšephe won the Under-16 tournament and received a trophy, gold medal and M50.
Likhapha Motsamai and Reitumetse Taioe – the winners of the Under-10 and 12 sections respectively – each received a trophy and a gold medal.

“The tournament was successful,” Khiba said.
“It was the first time we had a special category of Under-10, previously we only had Under-18 to Under-14,” he added.

“Compared to other editions, this one was bigger and better in terms of performance and support as parents also came to support their kids.”

There are several opportunities on the horizon for last Saturday’s winners, Khiba said.
“The winners have the opportunity to represent us at the African Youth Chess Championship (later this year),” Khiba explained.

“We want to create a very strong team that can represent Lesotho internationally,” he continued.
“If finances allow us, we will go to the African Youth Chess Championship in Zimbabwe in August. The venue is likely to change but we are yet to get updates. We want to recruit young kids as much as possible in order for us to be able to select players for international tournaments.”

Junior Chess Championship winners:
Under 10:
Motsamai Likhapha – 6 points (trophy and gold medal)
Moorosi Thato – 5 points (silver medal)
Tjaoane Khalalelo – 3.5 points (bronze medal)
Under 12:
Taioe Reitumetse – 6 points (gold medal and trophy)
Ntsielo Bonolo – 4.5 points (silver medal)
Thetsane Nteboheleng – 4.5 points (bronze medal)
Under 16:
Lebajoa Tšephe – 5.5 points (gold medal, trophy and M50)
Motsamai Bokang – 4.5 points (silver medal)
Lelimo Moeketsi – 4 points (bronze medal)
Under 18:
Mphane Thabang – 5 points (trophy, gold medal and M100)
Moshoeshoe Moshoeshoe – 4 points (silver medal)
Lelimo Teboho – 4 points (bronze medal)

Nkheli Liphoto

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