HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Nepal suffered a 2.5-1.5 loss at the hands of Lithuania in the 10th round of the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul on Friday.
Nepal — ranked 124th in the FIDE ratings — were up against 67th-ranked Lithuania having three International Masters (IM) and a FIDE Master (FM), but Candidate Master (CM) Keshav Shrestha pulled a stunning result defeating IM Tautvydas Vedrickas. The Nepali CM had earned first full point with an upset win over New Zealand’s IM in the second round on August 29.
Playing with white pieces in the third board, Keshav defeated the IM in 48 moves. The 2127-rated Keshav put the 2344-rated IM under pressure from the very beginning and gained an upper hand when he took a pawn in the 26th move.
Out of sorts Vedrickas was forced to resign after 48 moves. Following the fourth win of the campaign, Keshav accumulated 5.5 points from nine matches.
Likewise, U-19 Nepal champion Rupesh Jaiswal, who earned a CM title on Thursday, played a draw with 2378-rated IM Kestutis Labeckas. With the draw, the rookie earned five points. FM Manish Hamal lost to IM Mindaugas Beinoras, while veteran Prachanda Man Malakar went down to another IM Emilis Pileckis.
Nepal will wrap up their campaign with a match against Kenya on Sunday.