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

 

Beauty beyond borders

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | People

Ester KamatiCurrently studying towards a bachelor of law degree at the University of Namibia and a paralegal studies graduate, Mupupa is a great example of...

Jingle bells of hope

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Youth

ith six children, the village is a long-term placement facility that has the stamp of approval of the child ministry. The event was aimed at...

Jingle bells of hope

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Youth

Justicia Shipena Founded in 2007 with six children, the village is a long-term placement facility that has the stamp of approval of the child...

287 000 unclaimed certificates

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Elizabeth JosephAccording to chief education officer Dr Elizabeth Ndjendja some of the reasons for the unclaimed Grade 10 and 12 certificates are learners not taking...

Namibian youth exercise their democratic right

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Youth

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA Among the 1 358 468 registered voters, there are 403 106 born-frees (those born from 1990 onwards) and 8 623 millennials (born from...

And the winners are…

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Here are the prom king and queen of the four-month My Zone Snap Your Moment photo competition. The winning couple are from Kuisebmond Secondary School...

Verwerf kwalifikasies in Afrikaans

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Mariselle StofbergAkademia is 'n privaat hoër­onderwysinstelling en bied aan individue die geleentheid om 'n kwalifikasie te verwerf met behulp van interaktiewe nauurse klasse in Afrikaans...

Waar vriende familie word

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Mariselle StofbergBerg-Op Akademie is meer as net ‘n skool. Dit bied ’n veilige hawe waar leerlinge gehalte-onderrig ontvang en die geleentheid kry om hulself te...

Strawberry Fields Forever!

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Swakopmund • irene-mari@erongo.com.na Strawberry Fields Vocal Training Academy hosted a show on Saturday evening to celebrate the past year. “This evening was just for the...

Latest News

My Zone asked pupils from...

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Opinion

Lindley Appollis Emmatjie Gaoses$30. I agree with what my dad says that they just put on fancy colours and say something is on special, when...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

See you folks!

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Columns

Evany van WykHow can I miss something that I didn’t even think I needed and how am I this strong to be able to move...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

Jingle bells of hope

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Youth

ith six children, the village is a long-term placement facility that has the stamp of approval of the child ministry. The event was aimed at...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

Jingle bells of hope

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Youth

Justicia Shipena Founded in 2007 with six children, the village is a long-term placement facility that has the stamp of approval of the child...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

287 000 unclaimed certificates

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Elizabeth JosephAccording to chief education officer Dr Elizabeth Ndjendja some of the reasons for the unclaimed Grade 10 and 12 certificates are learners not taking...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

Namibian youth exercise their democratic...

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Youth

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA Among the 1 358 468 registered voters, there are 403 106 born-frees (those born from 1990 onwards) and 8 623 millennials (born from...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

And the winners are…

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Here are the prom king and queen of the four-month My Zone Snap Your Moment photo competition. The winning couple are from Kuisebmond Secondary School...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

Taking a gap year

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Opinion

Octavia Tsibes Ester Kamatione who doesn’t know what they want to do right after they obtain their Grade 12 certificate. According to Martha Uiras, a...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

Verwerf kwalifikasies in Afrikaans

2 days ago - 03 December 2019 | Education

Mariselle StofbergAkademia is 'n privaat hoër­onderwysinstelling en bied aan individue die geleentheid om 'n kwalifikasie te verwerf met behulp van interaktiewe nauurse klasse in Afrikaans...

by ELIZABETH JOSEPH

Load More