India’s Bhattacharya closes in on title

Kathmandu, May 31

India’s Niladri Shekhar Bhattacharya opened up one-point lead after the penultimate round of the Chakratirtha Chovar International Open FIDE Rating Chess Tournament here today.

Bhattacharya accumulated 7.5 points after he added one and half points from the day’s two matches. Bhattacharya defeated Nepal’s Candidate Master Rijendra Rajbhandari in the seventh round, while he settled for a draw with fellow Indian player Santu Mondal in the eighth round. Bhattacharya will take on Deepak Katiyar of India in the ninth and final round on Wednesday and a draw is enough for him to claim the title.

Indian players, Sarbojit Paul, Santu Mondal and Deepak Katiyar are in the chasing pack with 6.5 points, while Ritwan Sauntra has six points. Paul defeated Laltu Chattarjee and Ashutosh Kumar, while Mondal thumped Tamal Chakrabarti in the seventh round. Katiyar beat Kshitiz Bhandari and Himal Lama in the seventh and eighth round.

Nepali players, Rijendra Rajbhandari, Sajin Maharjan, Kshitiz Bhandari, Manish Hamal and Badrilal Nepali have 5.5 points each from eight rounds.  A total of 80 players from Nepal, India and Bangladesh are taking part in the five-day tournament, organised by Chakratirtha Group of Chovar, for the players with below-2200 rating points. The event carries a total cash purse of Rs 550,000.