Lishen, the chess queen

She was but a blip and in the infancy of her school career when Lishen Mentile pulled up a chess board.

13 August 2019 | People

Pull quote: “Today I can say that I have been playing chess for over 15 years,” – Lishen Mentile

Michelline Nawatises



Lishen Mentile joined her first chess club at Eros Primary School in 2008, in grade 2. Since then she was fascinated and her interest in chess continued to develop and grow. A few years after that she joined another chess club where her chess skills were further enhanced and she started playing chess at a professional level.

“Chess has always, and will always be, a huge and very important part in my life. I enjoy every single moment of chess from playing, to practicing, and coaching as well.

“Growing up I was exposed to the game from a very early age as I would always watch the bigger guys in my street play chess against each other,” she mentioned.

The biggest chess inspiration for Lishen is herself. “Every time I look into the mirror before or during a tournament I always tell myself that ‘this is the girl who dreamt about being a good chess player 15 years ago, and today she is living her dream’,” she says.

The best advice given to her was ‘do what you love’, and that is where the connection between herself and chess lies.

“Because I developed the love for the game of chess I never gave up on it even during the most difficult tournaments.”

Besides having played chess in Namibia, she has played chess in countries like South Africa, Slovenia, Istanbul, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and from those countries her favourite chess experience was in Turkey, Istanbul in the 40th World Chess Olympiad in the year 2012.

Her advice to aspiring chess players is to keep investing in their chess journey. Chess is a life-learning game and investing in chess will definitely expand your intellect, not only on the chess board itself, but in life and in business.

“When not playing chess, I read books. Mostly books that expand my knowledge on financial literacy and financial independence. Other than that I like playing other types of board games, like 30 seconds, scrabble and so on.”

She mentions that becoming a good chess player takes a lot of practice, dedication and sacrifices. “Get yourself a chess tutor by signing up with a chess academy, watch chess videos, read books, and most importantly play a lot of chess,” she advises. It will not take you two weeks, two months or even two years to become a good chess player.

“Chess is an ever-learning game and for that there is always room for improvement. If chess was a short-term thing, I wouldn’t have been doing it for over 15 years. I am yet to improve my chess in many more years to come.”

Her thought process before making a move involves a lot of things. “Firstly, I ask myself why my opponent made a certain move, I put myself in the shoes of my opponent and try to see what they are planning with a certain move,” she explains.

Once she has identified the intent of the opponent’s move, she checks to see whether she as tactical opportunities and strategical opportunities. Through this she identifies her top three best moves and tries to break this down to the best move taking into consideration what her opponent can do after her best move.

She would basically plan her next three to four moves in advance during her thought process, after every move her opponent makes. Once she has identified all of that only then does she make her move.

To improve her own chess skills she puts in a lot of practice, not only by having a paid tutor but also putting in individual practice by revising her old games, using chess databases to do strategic and tactical practice through solving puzzles.

Her highlight in chess would definitely be all of her achievements over the years of playing chess, from being best female junior player, to winning the Female National Chess Champion title three times, to being crowned three-time champion in the National Blitz Chess Championship, Rapid Chess Championship and the Namibia National Chess Championship, and many more achievements.

When asked by The Zone who her toughest opponent was she mentioned that she has encountered hundreds of tough opponents throughout her chess career and this has only made her a better chess player. “I have lost hundreds of games and I have won many games as well, and never a day in my life has facing a tough opponent or losing a game of chess demotivated me,” she said.

"If you are not big enough to lose a game of chess, you are not big enough to win."

Similar News

 

Tossing papers, tapping buttons

18 hours ago | Technology

Justicia Shipena WINDHOEKHaving started his coding journey in grade nine at De Duine Secondary School in Walvis Bay, Joachim Shilongo recently developed a...

#Covid19SafetyChallenge closing date extended

18 hours ago | Health

Justicia Shipena LifeLine ChildLine, through Uitani Radio, invites young people of all ages to participate in the #Covid19SafetyChallenge.This competition aims to monitor how many...

Japanese embassy lends helping hand

18 hours ago | Education

AI Steenkamp Primary School in Windhoek inaugurated five new classrooms as well as a storeroom on 6 August with aid from the Japanese embassy through...

August mid-term break for teachers and learners

18 hours ago | Education

Justicia Shipena With face-to-face teaching and learning suspended for 28 days for pre-primary to grade nine learners, the education ministry has set out...

Matrix 2020

18 hours ago | Youth

Leonardo Amwaalwa Seniors at JG Van Der Wath Secondary School in Okahandja were looking forward to finally have their matric farewell, only for the worldwide...

Space for more?

18 hours ago | Education

Chevonné de Klerk OKAHANDJASpace has become limited at JG van der Wath Secondary School, with only about 19 classrooms left after four classrooms caught fire...

Fears of the Namibian student abroad

18 hours ago | Education

Elizabeth Joseph The most widely known is the Namibian students in Cuba who recently took to social to express their concern for the lack of...

Belê in die Namibiese meisie

18 hours ago | Youth

Monique Adams’n Barmhartige Namibiër het besluit om Vrydag 50 pakkies sanitêre doekies aan leerlinge by Hoërskool Hage Geingob en Laerskool Moses Garoeb in Windhoek te...

Nuwe skool vir Hentiesbaai

18 hours ago | Youth

Justicia ShipenaBesunan Education Centre (BEC), wat deur die besturende direkteur van Besunan Investments CC en afgetrede onderwysveteraan, mnr. Elias Nanuseb, begin is, sal na verwagting...

Latest News

Could the Twaloloka fire have...

18 hours ago | Opinion

Joy HaipingeI think it was devastating and the fact that a life was lost makes the whole thing heart-breaking. People lost their belongings and have...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

Redefine coming through

18 hours ago | Columns

Enzo AmueleThe residents of the Twaloloka informal settlement in Walvis Bay, which in Oshiwambo means “we are tired”, recently experienced one of the most devastating...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

#Covid19SafetyChallenge closing date extended

18 hours ago | Health

Justicia Shipena LifeLine ChildLine, through Uitani Radio, invites young people of all ages to participate in the #Covid19SafetyChallenge.This competition aims to monitor how many...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

Japanese embassy lends helping hand

18 hours ago | Education

AI Steenkamp Primary School in Windhoek inaugurated five new classrooms as well as a storeroom on 6 August with aid from the Japanese embassy through...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

August mid-term break for teachers...

18 hours ago | Education

Justicia Shipena With face-to-face teaching and learning suspended for 28 days for pre-primary to grade nine learners, the education ministry has set out...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

JG takes on women’s rugby

18 hours ago | Sports

Chevonné de Klerk OKAHANDJAWorldwide and in Namibia, women’s rugby has not been as high of a priority as men’s rugby has been. All that changed...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

Matrix 2020

18 hours ago | Youth

Leonardo Amwaalwa Seniors at JG Van Der Wath Secondary School in Okahandja were looking forward to finally have their matric farewell, only for the worldwide...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

Space for more?

18 hours ago | Education

Chevonné de Klerk OKAHANDJASpace has become limited at JG van der Wath Secondary School, with only about 19 classrooms left after four classrooms caught fire...

by JUSTISIA SHIPENA

Fears of the Namibian student...

18 hours ago | Education

Elizabeth Joseph The most widely known is the Namibian students in Cuba who recently took to social to express their concern for the lack of...

by Elizabeth Joseph

Load More