Shanta remains in strong contention

KATHMANDU: Shanta Thapa remained in contention to win the girls’ championship, while Rupesh Jaiswal’s chances in boys’ second were hit as Nepal produced a mixed bag at the 11th Standard Chartered School Chess Championship in Dhaka today.

While Shanta and Bijay Raj Aryal won their seventh-round matches, Rupesh and Asmita Adhikari lost. Shanta has earned six points and is at second position, one point adrift of Tanjina Akhtar Tani. With 5.5 points, three players are at third position, while seven players have five points.

On Monday, Shanta defeated Sweta Shah of India. Starting the match with Royal Lopez style, Shanta beat her opponent in 68th moves. Coach Nabin Tandukar was hopeful of Shanta. “She is in a strong position and can win the title,” said Tandukar.

In the other girls’ match, Asmita lost to Aheli Sarkar and has 4.5 points. In boys’ section, Rupesh was undone by Debotpal Dey of India. He has earned 4.5 points and said he would fight for the third place. “Time pressure was the main reason behind my loss,” said Rupesh. Coach Tandukar said Rupesh failed to cope the pressure and lost the game.

Bijay opted an attacking strategy and defeated Sagar Sarkar in 47th moves. He accumulated five points. “I will now try to finish in top five,” said Bijay.

Coach Tandukar said the team would now focus to help Shanta win the top honour. “We will try our best to help her,” he said, adding, “The two remaining matches are also important for Rupesh.” He said Asmita lost because of inexperience.