Bhattacharya takes lead

Kathmandu, May 30

India’s Niladri Shekhar Bhattacharya moved to the top after the sixth round of the Chakratirtha Chovar International Open FIDE Rating Chess Tournament here today.

Bhattacharya defeated Nepal’s Sajin Maharjan in the sixth round and beat fellow Indian Sarbojit Paul in the next round to accumulate six points. Rijendra Rajbhandari of Nepal and India’s Santu Mondal and Tamal Chakrabarti are in the chasing pack with five points each.

Overnight joint leader Rajbhandari played draws against Mondal and Laltu Chattarjee, while Mondal defeated Bikash Kulaju in the sixth round. Tamal upset Nepal’s FIDE Master Manish Hamal and Ashutosh Kumar in the day’s two rounds to move to second position. Nepal’s Sajin Maharjan and Kshitiz Bhandari are further behind with 4.5 points along with Indian trio of Sarbojit Paul, Deepak Katiuar and Laltu Chattarjee.

Nepal’s FM Manish Hamal, FM Sujendra Prasad Shrestha, CM Keshav Shrestha, Himal Lama, Bikash Kuluju, Punya Man Karmacharya, Nabin Tandukar, Bijaya Dangol, Lav Kumar Shrestha, Bibek Shrestha and Badrilal Nepali have four points each and are in pack of 18 players along with India’s Ashutosh Kumar, Nath Rupankar, Ashish Raj, Ritwan Sauntra, Vikash Kumar Dwivedi and Kantilal Dave, and Bangladesh’s Md Matiur Rahman.

The seventh and eighth round matches will be held on Tuesday. A total of 80 players from Nepal, India and Bangladesh are taking part in the five-day tournament, organised by Chakratirtha Group of Chobhar, for the players with below-2200 rating points. Out of the total cash purse of Rs 550,000, the winner will receive Rs 100,000.