Mollah maintains lead, Panta settles for a draw

Kathmandu, March 24

Abdullah Al Rakib Mollah beat fellow Bangladeshi Grand Master Murshed Niaz to maintain the lead in the Asian Zonal 3.2 Open Chess Championship here today.

Mollah accumulated five points after the completion of six rounds to stay ahead in the standing. Another Bangladeshi GM, Ziaur Rahman defeated his countryman FM Syed Mahfuzur Rahman to stay at the second position with 4.5 points, while Nepal’s Sumit Panta — who has defeated a GM and IM in the event — settled for a draw with his teammate Candidate Master Madan Krishna Kayastha to accumulate four points.

Panta shared the third position with fellow Nepali players CM Keshav Shrestha and Himal Lama and Bangladesh’s GM Niaz Murshed, FM Md Taibur Rahman and FM Mehdi Hasan. Nepal’s FM Manish Hamal, CM Kshitiz Bhandari and CM Madan Krishna Kayastha along with Bangladesh’s FM Syed Mahfuzur Rahman, GM Enamul Hossain, and IM Sufian Shakil Abu have 3.5 points each.

In women’s section, WIM Rani Hamid won the sixth straight match defeating CM and fellow Bangladeshi player Mahmuda Hoque Chowdhury to maintain her lead with six points.

WIM Shamima Akter of Bangladesh defeated her teammate Samiha Shimmi Sharmin to accumulate five points, while Sri Lankan Zainab Saumy beat Bangladeshi FIDE Master Sharmin Shirin Sultana to remain at third with . Likewise, Bangladeshi WFM Nazrana Khan beat Nepal’s Punam Prasai, while Sabina Shrestha and Shanta Thapa registered victories against fellow Nepali players Matina Kusi and Sindira Joshi respectively.