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Chess Grand Master’s visit set to elevate Lesotho’s chess scene


Seabata Mahao

The Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) has announced the upcoming visit of renowned English Chess Grand Master Nigel David Short, scheduled from Tuesday to Thursday next week.

Short, a former world number two and current Vice-President of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), will touch down in the Mountain Kingdom on Tuesday to aid in nationwide chess development.

CFL President, Tšeliso Motloheloa, highlighted Short’s visit as pivotal in enhancing both the existing players’ skills and fostering widespread chess development across the country.

Emphasising the outreach, Motloheloa noted that Short would engage with inmates at the Lesotho Correctional Services (LCS), organising tournaments and online matches with inmates from other nations.

“Short’s expertise will guide us in integrating chess into school curriculums. Additionally, he’ll engage with sports federations and sponsors, shedding light on the significance of chess,” he explained.

Furthermore, Grand Master Short is slated to conduct coaching sessions, elevating the skills of coaches to mentor players up to the Grand Master level.

His participation in a simultaneous tournament against elite players will further enrich the local chess community.

In a gesture of support, Gift of Chess Lesotho contributed 1000 chess boards and sets, aiming to bolster chess culture in Lesotho.

Monaheng Motlomelo from the Gift of Chess Lesotho affirmed the donation’s distribution plan, intending to allocate 100 boards to CFL and the rest to schools, orphanages, chess clubs, and the LCS.

“Collaborating with CFL, we will prioritise primary schools, nurturing a love for chess from grassroots levels, ensuring accessibility for all enthusiasts,” Motlomelo stated.

Established in 2021 in the United States, Gift of Chess operates globally, aiding chess players by providing equipment. This act of generosity aligns with CFL’s mission to expand the chess landscape in Lesotho.

President of the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Committee (LSRC), Litšitso Motseremeli, said they were grateful for having one of their players who was out in another country and thought of ways to improve the sports back home.

Motseremeli lauded CFL’s foresight in exploring avenues to enhance the sport beyond executive initiatives, foreseeing a promising future for Lesotho’s chess scene.

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