By: Sekonyela Qaitsane

Maseru – Pending final standings from the 2024 African Amateurs Online Qualifiers, two Lesotho players, as provided by the interim standings, have qualified for the African Amateurs chess tournament scheduled to take place from July 21st to 29th his year in Bujumbura.

The online qualifications took place from Saturday to Sunday under the auspices of the African Chess Confederation. There were separate qualifiers for each category: Open U2300, Women U2300, and Open U2000, Women U2000, Open U1700, and Women U1700, with all zones playing in the same 6 categories above. Participating in each category were six players, one for each category, an open category, and women or each category.

The six team Lesotho players were Lebajoa Tšephe (under 2300 open section), Sechaba Khalema (under 2000 open section), Motlomelo Lihloela (under 1700 open section), Nteboheleng Thetsane (under 2300 women section), Ntsielo Bonolo (under 2000 women section), and Lintle Molise (under 1700).

They were competing against players from Somalia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Nigeria, Angola, Madagascar, Kenya, Togo, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, and Chad.

The best player for each category from each zone qualified and will get full board accommodation (double or single room, including 3 meals per day) during the 2024 African Amateurs in Bujumbura. 

However, according to the federation, the tournament will remain open for other players who didn’t qualify, but they will have to pay for their own accommodations if they wish to participate. Lebajoa Tšephe and Motlomelo Lihloela are the two Lesotho players who have qualified after both coming in second in their respective categories.