CFL holds online tournaments

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Leemisa Thuseho

CHESS Federation of Lesotho (CFL) on Friday kicked off its debut online tournament.

The tournament which ends this afternoon is in response to the International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) call for national federations to promote online chess competitions amid the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The tournament is dubbed Lesotho Checkmate Coronavirus.

Tournament coordinator Naleli McPherson said the tournament is only for local players.

She said the competitions are meant to keep players active during the Covid-19 induced break when all sporting activities have been suspended to curb the spread of Covid-19.

McPherson said the competitions are not FIDE rated but the participants stand a chance to enter FIDE’s prizes draw for global chess players who have been competing in different online chess competitions across the globe.

“We are using online ratings which have nothing to do with athletes’ FIDE profiles,” McPherson said.

“However, participants stand a chance of being included in the draw for prizes that will be awarded by FIDE to players who have been playing different online competitions.”

Other prizes include souvenirs, tickets to chess workshops, and mini-matches with grandmasters.

McPherson said the players would see the reward of engaging in online tournaments once the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

The winner of the tournament will walk away with M150 while the best female player will pocket M50.

Entry is free but McPherson is worried that some players may fail to raise enough money to pay for internet.

Last month FIDE said the online tournaments were targeting all chess players globally regardless of their ages, nationalities or rankings.

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