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Local chess ace targets top spot

Local chess ace targets top spot

Reigning 2020 Metropolitan National Champion, Candidate Master (CM) Thuso Mosutha, is eyeing further success to add to his already colourful and promising chess journey.

The 26-year-old has set his eyes on being the country’s best player after outclassing some of the biggest names in the game to claim the coveted prize in July this year.

Clocking 7.5 points out of 9 for the P10 000 first prize, Mosutha believes he has the ability to do even better.

He told Voice Sport this week that he is still happy with his latest triumph against the experienced players such as Fide Master (FM) Phemelo Khetho who has been one of his fiercest rivals for many years.

“FM Khetho has always been my biggest competitor, but off late things have been going my way, and the highlight was being crowned the 2020 Metropolitan National Champion,” he said.

A visibly excited Mosutha who could only manage an eighth finish in the Airficiency 2020 Opener Games in January said he hopes to hold on to his prized asset for as long as he can.

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“It’ll depend on the amount of effort I put into my training,” Mosutha told Voice Sport.

The decorated player said amongst his memorable achievements is winning gold at the 2019 Lesotho Open and another gold medal at the 2016 Swaziland Open Championships.

However being selected for the national team in 2016 and competing at Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan trumps all other achievements.

“It was in Baku where I acquired my CM title,” he said proudly.

The reigning Champion also revealed that since falling in love with the sport in 2009, he has always looked up to one of the most successful International Master (IM) David Jere, a renowned Zambian chess player currently based in the United States of America (USA).

“I modelled my play around him, and I believe that has helped me to grow as a player,” said Mosutha.

The ambitious Mosutha said with his newly found confidence his aim is now to dominate the sport in the country.

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“I want to be the best chess player Botswana has ever had. I would like to emulate great players such as IM Providence Oatlhotse as I’m also on course to get my IM title very soon,” he said.

“I earn a living through chess, that is I make it a point that performs well in all local competitions. It helps as there’re monetary prizes, but I also make extra money by mentoring kids at the grassroots level,” revealed the soft-spoken chess ace.

According to Mosutha, the biggest challenge for most local chess players is lack of funds, which they miss out on many prestigious tournaments.

“There is a great deal of lack of financial support in chess. If there was financial backing most of our players could have long attained an IM title. We should however not despair but focus on doing what we do best, only time will tell,” concluded Mosutha.

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