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High School Chess masters battle at grand finale

St Stephens and New Millenium take home trophies

Maseru – The past weekend saw chess masters from various teams battle out in the 2023 High Schools’ Chess Championship Finals. The initial competition had 30 schools and 20 of them made it to the final round. There were 19 teams in the open section and 12 in the ladies’ section.

In the open section finals New Millennium H.S took the grand prize, a trophy and medals in the first place with 26.5 points the highest while St. Stephen’s D H.S came second with 22.5 points taking with them medals only. Machabeng College came out third place with 19.5 points also took home medals.

In the Ladies’ Section, St. Stephens D H.S triumphed by just one point to get 19 points. They Mohale’s Hoek ladies took home unbelievably a trophy and medals.  Seeiso H.S ladies came in second place with 18 points of which was a tie with Leqele H.S however they came out third place both teams got medals.

Lesotho Chess Federation (LCF) public relations officer (PRO) Selatela Khiba explains that they held qualifying tournaments in different regions before we getting to the finals. 2 matches in Maseru being the central region, 1 in Mohale’s Hoek being the south region. For the north region 2 matches were held in Leribe and Butha Buthe.

“We saw many districts come forward to compete with participation from 7 district excluding Qacha’s Nek, Quthing, and Thaba Tseka,” Khiba recounts.

According to Khiba, learners and school managers have taken chess really seriously since it helps them a lot in their school work and personal life. Those who can compete at a higher level than other usually stand a chance to play in bigger and classic chess events both national and internationally. Just last year, some high school chess players were selected to the national team and competed in a world Chess Olympiad in India. 5 years ago in 2018 others competed in Georgia, in the same event.

Chess is one sport if taken seriously can open career opportunities. One can become a professional player, be sponsored for world class chess events. Some countries have schools of chess therefore one can apply to be a master. 

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