Lesotho successfully hosts chess tourney

TEYATEYANENG (TNS) – Malawi born, Joseph Mwale, won the 4th Edition and 2018 BMI Open Lesotho Chess championship (BOLCC) in the Prestige section.

Mr. Mwale walked away with M5,000, a trophy, and gold medal in the main category of the tourney comprising four categories sections.

The second price of M3,000 was scooped by Donaldo Paiva (Mozambique), Spencer Masango (Zimbabwe) took M2,000 for third place while Simon Bokamoso (Botswana) walked away with M1,000 for claiming fourth position.

On the same section there were also special prices for local players and Tokelo Klaas came first and walked away with M1,500, second was Masilo Mafube who won M1,000 and in third was Khalena Sechaba (M500).

In the Open section Rethabile Sehlabaka won the first prize of M1,250 and Setšabelo Mokoteli claimed M500 for second place. In the Best Lady category, Malillo Phera won first prize of M1,000 while second ‘Maboloko Leboela who won M600 (second position) and in third was Lieketseng Ngatane who won M400.

Malillo Phera won the Under-14 category and walked away with M500. As for the Blitz section, Donald Paiva won M1,500 while Mosutha Thuso got M1,000 for first and second place, respectively.

The tourney attracted players from England, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi.

It was sponsored by BMI, LSRC, LNOC and KASPAROV Chess Foundation Africa which was founded by Gary Kasparov of Russia who is now based in United States of America.

The sponsorship Executive Director of KASPAROV Chess Foundation Africa, Graham Jorgensen said: “This tournament is the largest in the country and it is continuing to grow. Last time we had about 100 players, but this year we had 150, with highflying players – one from Malawi, three from Zimbabwe and another three from Botswana.

“As a Foundation, we host about 20 tournaments in Africa and Lesotho chess is growing rapidly given that there was no chess in this country. Chess is the sound best globally with 700 million players and 400 million are under the Federation of International Chess rankings. Over 50 Basotho are on the world rankings.”

The four categories were the Prestige section which includes elite players with at least a 1450 point rating; Open section is for players with ratings below 1449 points; Development section is for Under-14 players; and Blitz section comprise all players despite their sex, age, and ratings.

Since chess is an open sport code for all, it does not consider physical strength and players are paired despite their sex, age, and ratings.

The Minister of Communications, Hon Joang Molapo also took part in the tourney – competing as a player.

 TŠELISO TALE

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