LALITPUR: Niraj Niraula of Jhapa and Rajan Chhetri of Kathmandu share the lead after the completion of the ninth round of the Madan Memorial National Youth Rating Chess Championships here today.

Niraj defeated Rabindra Shakya in the eighth round before stunning national champion Badri Lal Nepali in the next round. Both Niraj and Rajan have 7.5 points.

Rajan lost a wonderful chance to take a solitary playing a tame draw against Rajendra Prasad Shrestha in the eighth round. He earned a point in the ninth round with a win over FIDE Master Manish Hamal.

Badri Lal, Rajendra Prasad, Keshav Shrestha, Prem Krishna Maharjan and Robindra Shakya are in a group of five with seven points. Badri Lal had defeated Sujendra in and lost to Rajan. Rajendra also earned a point against Punya Man Karmacharya in the ninth round.

Keshav, meanwhile, played a draw against Ratna Byanjankar before defeating Bhagwati Prasad Sharma in the ninth round. Prem Krishna defeated both Rajan Singh Prajapati and Sujendra Prasad.

Punya Man, Bhagwati, Surbir Lama, Uttaam Raj Thapa, Sujendra, Prachandra Malakar, Manoj Chitrakar, Baburaj Maharjan, Surendra Maharjan, Prakash Nepal, Suman Lama and Keshav Gautam in another group with 6.5 points each.