THE 2017 male and female chess champions will be crowned today when the curtain comes down on the Individual National Championships which began yesterday at the Blue Mountain Inn Hotel in Teyateyaneng.
Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) secretary general, Mahlauli Manyeli, said the tournament was also being used to select the national team for next year’s Olympiads to be staged in Batumi, Georgia.
“This is a closed tournament because it serves as a qualifier for the Chess Olympiads to be staged in Georgia next year,” Manyeli said, adding the 50 players taking part were drawn from the north, south and central regions of the country.
She also said the players would have to score many points in order to qualify for next year’s Lesotho Open.
“We have been working hard to improve standards and I believe the many tournaments we have been holding have helped because there are a lot of positives from our players.
“We are hoping for good results when we go to Batumi next year and we know we have to do so much to help our players prepare.
The top 10 players in the female and male categories will fight for five positions in each category next February.”
She also appealed to the corporate sector to invest in chess, saying it was costly to hold such tournaments. He said Blue Mountain Inn was their main sponsor hence the staging of the tournament at the hotel.