Lesotho will for the first time host the Zone 4.5 Youth under 16 Chess championship scheduled for November 22-30 in Berea.
As preparation for the competition, the Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) will stage a one day closed chess tournament to select a squad of 10 players who will represent Lesotho at spectacle.
This closed tournament is penned for November 9 and 10.
In an interview with this publication, CFL Spokesperson, Khiba Selatela, indicated that a provisional squad of 27 players (boys and girls) will fight all out to be among the ten players that will form the national team squad.
According to Selatela, the final squad of ten players will be divided into two teams of fives.
“We need a minimum of two girls in each team,” said Selatela.
He added that they are looking at Makhele Palamo for position of head coach, to work together with other local coaches to prepare the team following the final squad selection.
He said players in the provisional squad were selected based on their outstanding performance in the 2019 High School’s chess Championships as well as in the junior chess championship.
“Initially the games were to be held in Zimbabwe but they were stripped of the rights of hosting due to the country’s internal issues.
“Lesotho was therefore considered the next country of choice by the African Chess Confederation (ACC). Having been awarded the opportunity to host the 2022 African Youth Games, ACC feels Lesotho is deserving of support from all sections of the African Sporting populace, thus ACC offered Lesotho an opportunity to host the Zone 4.5 Youth under 16 team chess championship as a build up to this momentous event.” Selatela revealed.
Over and above the prizes for best teams and players, members of the overall winning team of the Zone 4.5 Youth Championship will receive travel grants to the 2020 World Youth Under 16 Chess Olympiad to be held in Russian.
Selatela indicated that so far South Africa, eSwatini, Namibia, Angola and Mozambique have confirmed their participation. The provisional squad is made up of Nthabiseng Ramakesane, Sebabatso Mokoatsi, Rets’elisitsoe Lets’oara, Itumeleng Mohapi, ‘Malillo Phera, Teboho Lelimo, Karabo Mots’ohi, Mahomed George, Ts’ephe Lebajoa, Thabang Serero, Mothobi Karabelo, Bahlakoana Nts’onyana, Moshoeshoe Moshoeshoe, Motlomelo Lihloela, Ts’epo Sepono, Khosi Rapelang, Mofali Katleho, Ts’ukulu Tumelo, Reitumetse Taioe, Bonolo Ntsielo, Nteboheleng Thetsane, Rethabile George, Ntsoaki Khunong, Kamohelo Peea, Mojakisane Lebakae, Ramaliehe ‘Mesa and Bokang Motsamai