Manish assured of rating improvement

KATHMANDU: Nepali chess players ended the ninth United Insurance and United Leasing Grandmasters Chess Championship campaign with a mediocre performance in Dhaka today.

Bilam Lal Shrestha defeated his compatriot Naveen Tandukar in the 10th round to line up among the four points gainers from Nepal. Bilam recorded a win in the ninth round while also earning a one point in the third. He played two draws.

Former Nepal champion 2134-rated Keshav Shrestha, Badri Lal Nepali and FIDE Master (FM) Manish Hamal also finished with equal four points. Of the five Nepal players, 2133-rated Tandukar (2.5 points) was the only one not to win a single round. He earned a point courtesy a bye in the

sixth round while he played draws in three rounds. Tandukar will see a deficit of almost 50 points in the new FIDE ratings due to his lowly performance.

The 2162-rated Nepal champion Badri Lal Nepali was held to a draw by

1984-rated Ikramul Haque Siam of Bangladesh today. Keshav Shrestha, who had the honour of beating and holding FMs in the previous rounds, lost to 2256-rated FM Mahfuzur Syed Rahman of Bangladesh.

It was Keshav’s fifth meeting against the FM. He

was also tied against two Grand Masters (GM).

The 2086-rated Manish lost his final round match to Mohammad Jamal

Uddin of Bangladesh. Both Keshav and Manish are

assured of improving their ratings. GM Dibyendu Barua of India won the championship with 7.5 points and earned $1600

as prize money. Georgia

GM duo Mikheil Mch-edlishvili and Merab Gagunasvili finished second and third respectively.