Chess Olympiad Games squad unveiled

NEO SENOKO

MASERU – The Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) has named a robust team to represent the country at the upcoming 43rd Chess Olympiad Games scheduled for Batumi, Georgia. The squad, made up of five female players and their five male counterparts, is expected to bring medals home from the games in September.

In a bid to better equip the team with skills, the federation has enlisted the services of an international coach just three months before the event. “We are going to engage an expert foreign coach who will enhance the team with the essential technical knowhow ahead of the tournament. In that way, we hope our charges will do well in Batumi,” CFL acting president Tlhoriso Morienyane, said in an interview with Public Eye on Monday.

The team comprises elite players such as Tokelo Klaas, Sechaba Khalema, Naleli Mcpherson and ’Maboloko Leboela. The expectation is that the quartet will guide their less experienced teammates like Theko Khanyapa, ’Malehloa Likhomo and Liteboho Mohatlane. Other members of the squad include Ramokotjo Lekau, ’Malillo Phera and Lieketseng Ngatane. The team was selected from a series of national tournaments and will also compete in other international events in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique before leaving for Batumi in the next four months.

“The regional tournament we will compete in shall among others grant us the essential exposure that we need to boost our confidence before the major global show,” Morienyane said. Meanwhile the annual 2018 high school chess championships ended on a high note last week with St Stephen’s High School successfully defending their title, securing 30.5 points in the process.

Methodist High School came second, registering 25.5 points followed by Leqele High School in with 24 points. Morienyane expressed his satisfaction at the growth of the sport in Lesotho, particularly through young people whose interest is normally developed in school competitions.

“The tournament has been developing over the years and has produced a number of top players who are also some of the best in the country,” he said.

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