ILAM: Candidate Master Bhupendra Niraula opened up an unbeatable lead in the 19th National Chess Championship. Niraula accumulated seven points after eight rounds. Niraula defeated Himal Lama in the seventh round before settling for a draw with Kshitiz Bhandari in the eighth. With just one round to go, Sajin Maharjan, Kshitiz Bhandari, Keshav Shrestha and Himal Lama have 5.5 points each and no one can overtake Niraula. In women’s section, Sindira Joshi maintained her lead with 5.5 points, while Shanta Thapa and Monalisa Khamboo are second with five each.