Chess Federation searches for talent

Chess Federation searches for talent

MASERU – The Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) says chess is growing massively in Lesotho despite a financial crisis facing the governing body.
The sport has grown steadily over the past decade, the CFL said.
According the CFL, in 2008 chess was only played in Maseru and by a handful of enthusiasts in Mohale’s Hoek. Today, however, chess lovers regularly assemble from all over the country to take part in major tournaments.

Lesotho now also boasts qualified chess coaches making it easier to groom new talent and sustain the CFL’s aim to grow the sport in Lesotho.
Last weekend, the association held a two-day Spring Open Chess Championship tournament at Maqalika Scenery Guest House that ended on Sunday.

The championship also doubled as a platform to select a team to represent Lesotho at the 2020 Africa Zone 4.5 Chess Championship next February and the World Chess Olympiad set for August 2020 in Russia.
Speaking to thepost on Tuesday, CFL spokesperson Khiba Selatane said the federation is working to build a strong team to represent Lesotho at those international events.

“The federation has taken the initiative to grow the sport in the country by hosting as many tournaments as we can and reaching out to primary schools to teach students and teachers the correct procedures of chess,” Selatane said.
“We cry out to the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) and Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) as our main bodies to grant us funds to smoothe chess evolution in the country so that we can deliver services out to the isolated areas to train the chess masters of tomorrow,” he added.

As things stand, the CFL is forced to collect money from its chess players as a way of making ends meet.
With that being the case, Selatane urged chess lovers to be committed to the sport and attend CFL tournaments in high numbers.
He also encouraged budding enthusiasts to join chess clubs in their communities and learn the sport from an early age.

“We know the strategies we can use to grow chess but we lack funds and with their help we can achieve the best outcome,” Selatane said.
“Right now it is somehow difficult due to the financial situation we have. If the chess subvention (from the LNOC) can be increased, I think we can achieve something better than we are right now,” he added.

Tokelo Klaas, one of Lesotho’s premier chess players, was the big winner at the weekend’s Spring Open Chess Championship as he took home the champion’s trophy, a gold medal and M1000 in the open section.
Runner up Sechaba Khalema took home silver and M700 while Liteboho Mohatlane received bronze and M400.

In the ladies section, Bonolo Ntsielo was rewarded with a trophy, gold medal and M700 which included M100 for being the championship’s best all-round player.
Malehloa Likhomo won silver and M310 while Nthabeleng Thetsane walked away with a bronze medal and M230.

Mpinane Moshoeshoe


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