Bajracharya holds Shrestha

Kathmandu, December 2:

Former national champion Keshav Prasad Shrestha missed a chance to go clear atop the standings after playing a draw in the fifth round match here at the second Shankhadhar Shakhwa Memorial Nationwide Open Chess Tournament today.

Keshav defeated Ganesh Man Duwal in the fourth round before Rajendra Bajracharya held him for a draw meaning now five players share the lead. Apart from Keshav, Badri Lal Nepali, Bilam Lal Shrestha, Rajendra Bajracharya and Uttam Thapa have 4.5 points each after the completion of fifth round.

Badri Lal started the fourth round with a draw with Rajan Chhetri before collecting full point (one) against Sujendra Prasad Shrestha in the fifth round. Bilam Lal defeated Ratna Byanjankar in the fourth round before sharing half-point with Uttam Thapa in the next. Uttam defeated Rajendra Prasad in the fourth round. Rajendra Bajracharya also opened the day with fourth round victory against Nibesh Duwal before being forced to share point with Keshav.

Shyam Shrestha, Rajan Chhetri, Prem Krishna Maharjan, Ratna Byanjankar, Prachandra Malakar, Rajendra Prasad Shrestha, Haris Chandra Chaulagain, Rabindra Thapa Magar and Ganesh Duwal are next in a group of nine with equal four points. The players

who have earned 3.5 points so far include Balram Napit, Sujendra Prasad Shrestha, Bijay Man Shrestha and Mani Raj Dangi.