New Metropolitan National Championships winner, Candidate Master (CM), Thuso Mosutha is enjoying his life on the checkered board, after bagging a sought after local title. The dreadlocked chess player chats with Mmegi Sport Staff Writer, CALISTUS KOLANTSHO after his win
Mmegi: What do you think led to your success?
Mosutha: Well, I think continuous training that I have had over the years has finally paid off.
Mmegi: When and how did you start playing chess?
Mosutha: I started playing chess in 2008 when I was doing Form One at Goldmine Junior Secondary School in Francistown. That was because I spent most of my time with friends who were playing it.
Mmegi: Which is your favourite piece on the chessboard and why?
Mosutha: I would not say I have a favourite piece, I just love seeing all pieces coordinating on the board but let us go with the knight as my favourite.
Mmegi: Which of the two moves do you prefer, e4 or d4 and why?
Mosutha: None of the two. Lately I play the uncompromising English opening, which is c4.
Mmegi: How would you best describe your chess style?
Mosutha: I used to be an aggressive player but slowly I have matured to be a universal player. I can play all positions whether positional or tactical but I prefer tactical games still.
Mmegi: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Mosutha: Well, I won the Africa Amateur Championships in 2015 qualifying for the World Amateur Championships, which I played in
2016. That was the greatest performance placing me amongst players with great potential. I also made it to the national team that year, and went on to play at the FIDE Olympiad with the senior team.
Mmegi: How has chess impacted your life?
Mosutha: I have seen many countries including out of Africa and so I would say yes I have loved the experiences. But it has been a difficult journey since I am only doing chess.
Mmegi: How much time do you spend working on chess everyday: Do you have a regular programme?
Mosutha: I believe that for someone to be a well-rounded strong player, they must have a daily routine so I always try to spend at least three hours a day playing chess but I would like to increase it to eight hours.
Mmegi: What do you regard as your three best achievements?
Mosutha: When I was crowned national champion (recent achievement), then Africa Amateur Champion in 2015, and Lesotho Open Champion in 2018.
Mmegi: Who is your favourite chess player?
Mosutha: My favourite player in the country is
He likes making funny faces during games and it makes him the funniest and it is enjoyable to watch him play.
Mmegi: It has been said that a chess player’s personality is mirrored or reflected by his or her chess style. What are your thoughts on this?
Mosutha: Well, sometimes it is true but as for me, I am a calm person. But I’m brutal on the board so I think it is up for debate. It is not entirely true but it is to some extent.
Mmegi: What do you think is the right age to start playing chess?
Mosutha: I think the best age is five years and I am a trainer too.
Mmegi: Why would you encourage anyone to take up chess?
Mosutha: Well, chess teaches traits that may help an individual make well thought decisions.
Mmegi: How would you like to be remembered as a player?
Mosutha: I would not know about that but I know they would remember me as the fastest calculating player and the most lethal blitz player in the country.
Mmegi: What do you think it will take for Africa to have a world chess champion?
Mosutha: All we need is a change in the minds of those in power. They should start envisioning players making a living out of chess then we would be in the right direction to produce world champions.
Mmegi: What is your typical day like?
Mosutha: I have simple days with chess classes for about three hours in a day and back home to play chess online and train too. I am also a good cook.
Mmegi: What would you change about yourself?
Mosutha: Absolutely nothing I think I love the way I am.
Mmegi: Are you married?
Mosutha: Not yet.
Mmegi: What makes you happy?
Mosutha: As of now I enjoy seeing my opponents suffering because of me. That makes me happy.
Mmegi: Who is your biggest influence in your life and why?
Mosutha: My mother. She prays for me all the time.
Mmegi: What is the most important thing that has ever happened to you in your career?
Mosutha: Winning the Africa Amateur was the most important thing that happened to me because it has been a big influence in making the decision to be a full time chess player.
Mmegi: What is your favourite place to eat?