Nepali teams suffer defeats in Azerbaijan

Kathmandu, September 3

Both the Nepali teams suffered defeats in the first round matches of the 42nd Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday.

The men’s team went down 4-0 against Sweden, while the women’s team faced the defeat at the hands of Canada by the same margin. According to Nepal Chess Association General Secretary Herakaji Maharjan, the men’s team competed against Sweden with only three players after Kshitiz Bhandari ‘remained absent due to technical reason’.

The 2099-rated Candidate Master Keshab Shrestha faced a defeat against 2641-rated Grand Master Nils Grandelius in 48 moves, while 2034-rated Sajin Maharjan lost against 2545-rated Grand Master Erik Blomqvist. The 2071-rated Candidate Master Bhupendra Niraula went down to 2516-rated Grand Master Axel Smith in the 35th move, while 2491-rated International Master Jonathan Westerberg earned walkover win from Bhandari. The men’s team will face Nicaragua in the second round.

In the women’s team event, 1574-rated Sindira Joshi was beaten by 2367-rated FIDE Master Qiyu Zhou, while 1632-rated Ashmita Adhikari faced defeat against 2205-rated Women’s International Master Yuanling Yuan.

Likewise, 1740-rated Women’s Candidate Master Monalisha Khamboo went down to 2064-rated Lali Agbabishvili and 1693-rated Shanta Thapa lost against 1992-rated Women’s Candidate Master Maili Jade Quellet. The women’s team will play against Portugal in the second round.