LESOTHO’S second ranked chess player Sechaba Khalema is worried about his current form as he has endured a poor run in his last four competitions.
Of the four, he only won one.
Khalema told the Lesotho Times this week that he has performed under par because he has been focusing on his studies.
“I am not happy with my performance recently,” Khalema said.
“I started the year well but my form has fallen as I had shifted focus onto my studies.
“However, I still believe can improve and regain my form.”
Khalema is a second year Economics Minor in Statistics student at the National University of Lesotho (NUL).
He said his situation was also worsened by the fact that the Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) had few tournaments this year hence he got less game time. He only participated in the Maseru Open and the Spring Open tournaments in June and September 2019 respectively. He won the Maseru Open while the Spring Open was one by first ranked Tokelo Klaas.
He also competed in the 2019 Blue Mountain Inn (BMI) Lesotho Open Chess Championship in February coming 19th. He also recently played in the 2019 CFL Festive Open Chess Championship coming second in the open men section.
“So far, I have not played in any tournament outside the country and even if I were to get an opportunity, I would not take it considering my poor form.
“I play a lot of online games and in most cases I find that I miss the win unnecessarily or misplay basic positions. I must up my game,” he said.
Khalema won the Lesotho 2018 National Champions and he anticipates to regain his form and defend his National Championship title next month.
“In preparation for the National Championship, I am going to follow different chess tournaments and games all over the world, especially grandmasters competitions to improve my play,” Khalema added.
Khalema was part of the team that represented the country at the 2018 World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia.
“At the 2019 Olympiad, I did not perform too well. We travelled without a coach and I only won three matches, lost four and drew one.
“It is good to perform at this level and I am hoping to get another opportunity to represent the country at the 2020 Chess Olympiad Russia,” Khalema said.