Klaas wins Spring Chess tourney


Leemisa Thuseho

CHESS star Tokelo Klaas has continued with his dominance by bagging Lesotho’s Spring Open Championship last weekend.

Lesotho’s top-ranked player with 1847 rating won the tournament which was held at Scenery Guest House in Maseru.

Klaas won the tournament’s open section with five points after six games pocketing M650.

Sechaba Khalema, Lesotho’s second-best player with a rating of 1837 came second after collecting 4.5 points.

Khalema was tied with Lesotho’s 11th ranked player Bahlakoana Ntšonyana, who finished third. Ntšonyana was placed in third position after the application of “buchholtz tie breaker system”.

The duo nevertheless shared the M750 prize.

Klaas told the Lesotho Times that he was happy with his performance because the competition was stiff. So stiff was the competition that it deterred him from achieving a better score.

Klaas came second in the Winter Open tournament in June and third in the Kings Birthday tournament last month. He however, attributed the subdued performance to the long break from the sport due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the ladies’ category, ‘Malehloa Likhomo and ‘Malillo Phera finished top with five points each after six games. The tie breaker system favoured Likhomo for first position. Both players shared M500.

Bonolo Ntsielo finished third with four points and got M100.

Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) deputy secretary general Khiba Selatela said they had a successful event although the attendance was generally low. Only 40 players showed up instead of the expected…

“We had a successful event although we would have wanted to have more than 40 players. This was an important event because it was FIDE-rated and players were earning points to increase their international rankings,” Khiba said.

The weekend tournament also served as one of CFL events that are being used as qualifiers for the Zone 4.5 Individual Chess Championship to be held in Lesotho in November this year.

Meanwhile, the association will this weekend stage the 2021 Junior National Championship at a yet to be confirmed venue.

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