Chakratirtha Chess

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s FIDE Master Manish Hamal, Candidate Master Rijendra Rajbhandari, Nabin Tandukar, Sumit Panta, Sajin Maharjan, Punya Man Karmacharya, Himal Lama, Kshitiz Bhandari and Chandra Das Gurung were among the 18 players who shared the lead after the opening day of the Chakratirtha Chovar International Open FIDE Rating Chess Tournament here on Saturday. They earned two points each after the first two rounds. Six players including Nepal’s Bikram Jati are next with 1.5 points each. The first day saw a couple of upsets with top Nepali player Keshav Shrestha going down at the hands of India’s Nishad Rishab, while Badrilal Nepal lost to India’s Kantilal Dave and youth chess player from Taplejung Chandra Das Gurung defeated 1960-rated Indian Saksham Rautela. A total of 80 players from Nepal, India and Bangladesh are taking part in the five-day tournament that carries a total cash purse of Rs 550,000.