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Klaas to miss national championships

Lesotho's widely read newspaper, published every Thursday and distributed throughout the country and in some parts of South Africa.

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Leemisa Thuseho

TOKELO Klaas will miss this year’s National Chess Championships after failing to participate in the qualifiers.

This means that the country’ top ranked player will not be able to defend the title he won last year.

Klaas failed to play in the qualifiers because of work commitments.

“I am not playing this year because I failed to participate in the qualifiers due to work commitments,” Klaas told the Lesotho Times this week.

“However, missing the national championships is not a big issue as it will not affect my rankings.’’

The championships would have been his last competition this year as he will only return to competitive chess next year.

His previous competition was the Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India from 28 July to 9 August 2022. Lesotho finished 129th out of 162 teams in the women’s category. The side was equally poor in the open section finishing 164th out of 188 participants.

Klaas is one of the only three Lesotho players with Chess International Federation (FIDE) Candidate Master (CM) titles. The others are Sechaba Khalema and veteran Joang Molapo.

The defending champion in the ladies’ category, Nteboheleng Thetsane, has qualified and she will be available to defend her title, the Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) has confirmed.

The championships were initially set for this weekend at a yet to be confirmed. However, CFL has postponed it until further notice.

CFL secretary general, Tlhoriso Morienyane, confirmed the postponement to this publication on Monday.

‘’We have postponed the championships to a yet to be announced date. There are some logistical issues that are not yet in place,’’ Morienyane said.