Duwal wins U-19 National Chess Championship

LALITPUR: Nikesh Duwal of Bhaktapur earned 6.5 points to win the Under-19 National Chess Championship here on Friday.

With the win, Duwal qualified for the Asian Junior Chess Championship to be held from July 1 in Sri Lanka. Duwal defeated Rupsain Jaiswal in the final round to remain unbeaten in the seven-round tournament held under the Swiss League format. Duwal won six matches and played a draw in the tournament organised by Nepal Chess Association.

Madan Krishna Kayastha and Prajjwol Rajopadhyaya, also from Bhaktapur, were tied at 5.5 points but the former won the second position on better progressive points. Madan Krishna, who lost to Prajjwol in the last round, accumulated 24 progressive points, while Prajjwol had 23.5.

Sachin Maharjan of Lalitpur beat Manishwor Thapa of Gorkha to finish fourth with 4.5 points and 20 progressive points, while Rabin Sunuwar of Chitwan came fifth with 4.5 points and 19.5 progressive. Others in the top 10 were Deepak Lamichhane of Kathmandu, Prakash Nepal of Jhapa, Sourav Pradhan of Rupandehi, Prashanta Bhasima and Manishwor Thapa of Gorkha.

In the Under-15 National Championship, Rupesh Jaiswal defeated his elder brother Nabin in the final round to win the championship with six points and 24 progressive points. Bijay Raj Aryal beat Sri Krishna Prajapati of Bhaktapur to accumulate six points but finished second with 23.5 progressive points.

Other seven players in the top 10 were tied at five points and progressive points separated them. Sri Krishna was third with 24 progressive points, while Bijay Man Thaiba of Rupandehi came fourth with 23.5 and Nabin Jaiswal of Rautahat fifth with 22. Anil Shilpakar of Bhaktapur (22), Bijay Dangol of Kathmandu (20), Akash Subedi (19) and Niraj Dhakal (17) were the others in the top 10.

The top seven players from the U-19 and top three from U-15 championships were picked for the first leg of the Nepal-India Friendly Chess Tournament to be held in Asam from May 27. The Nepali team is visiting Asam after the Indian team refused to tour Nepal due to adverse political situation. The return leg will be held in Kathmandu later.

The top three players in both the sections received Rs 5,000, Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,000 respectively. The fourth and fifth place winners got Rs 1,500 each, while players from sixth to 10th earned Rs 1,000 apiece. Russian Grand Master Alexander Fominiyh, who is here to provide training to the Nepali players, gave away the prizes to the winners. NCA President Rajesh Hari Joshi was also present on the occasion.