MALEHLOA Likhomo and Theko Khanyapa were last weekend crowned 2019 Festive Open Chess champions at Scenery Guest House in Maseru.
Likhomo collected nine points and took home M600 for winning in the female category while Khanyapa pocketed M1 000 for winning the Open category with0 10 points.
Maboloko Leboela took home M300 for coming second in the female category with nine points while Naleli McPherson (eight points) came third and bagged M500.
Sechaba Khalema collected nine points to second and took home M380 while Liteboho Mohatlane came third with eight point winning a M280 prize.
Chess Federation of Lesotho (CFL) spokesperson Selatela Khiba said the tournament was part of a series planned in the build up to the February Zonal tournament to be hosted by Lesotho next year.
“It is one of the tournaments that we have lined up in the run up to next year’s Zonals which we are going to host next year where we are expecting nine other Zone 4.5 countries,” Khiba said.
Khiba said there are two other tournaments that will be played prior to the main event next February. To qualify for the tournament, local players must accumulate as many points as possible with the top five getting a chance to represent the country.
“We are left with two tournaments namely the National Championship next month and the Lesotho Open penned in for January 2020. For players to qualify for the national team, we will add all the points that they have collected in these series and the top 10 will play in a closed tournament.
“After that closed tournament, the top-five players from both the female and male categories will then represent the country in February,” Khiba said.