THE Lesotho Chess Federation (LCF) team is set to leave the country for Mozambique today for the two-day Open Chess Championship scheduled to start tomorrow in Maputo.
The tournament in the Portuguese speaking country will help the Lesotho team fine tune its preparations for the upcoming 2018 World Chess Olympia to be staged in Georgia starting next month.
The 43rd edition of the Chess Olympiad which now includes the open and women’s tournament and several other promotional events will be held in Batumi, Georgia from 23 September to 6 October 2018.
LCF public relations officer Khiba Selatela said Lesotho will head to the global chess competition with a team of 10; five female and five male players.
“Our team is made up of 10 players and will be accompanied by four officials,” Selatela told this publication.
The World Chess Olympiad is held once every two years and is contested for by 86 countries registered with the chess governing body.
This year marks the third time that Lesotho will be in the competition since the country’s debut in 2014.
“The team has been preparing hard with their coaches in preparation for the Georgia tournament. The Mozambique tournament scheduled to start tomorrow and end on Sunday is also an intensification of the preparations for Georgia.
“We are confident that this competition will be helpful for our team in readying for the European trip as it comes just a few days before they depart for the Chess Olympiad.
“The stage in Georgia will be a chance for us to show that we can compete with the rest of the world as far as chess is concerned at the global stage and for our players to win global accolades,” Selatela said.
Male team: Khanyapa Theko, Klass Tokelo, Khalema Sechaba, Mohatlane Liteboho, Lekau Ramokotjo and captain Khiba Selatela.
Ladies team: Maboloko Leboela, Lieketseng Ngatane, Naleli Mcpherson, Phera Malillo, Likhomo Malehloa and captain Phera Moseli.