Thapa, Malakar on top

Kathmandu, December 5:

Uttam Raj Thapa of Tanahu and Prachanda Malakar of Kathmandu shared the lead after the completion of the eighth round of the Shankhadhar Shakhwa Memorial second Open Nationwide Chess Championship here today.

In the eighth round, Thapa opted defensive strategy to beat Shyam Shrestha and accumulated seven points, while Malakar outplayed Prem Krishna Maharjan to share the lead. The final round is slated for Saturday.

Olympiad participant Balram Napit and Purushottam Chaulagain are in the second position with 6.5 points each. Napit beat Rajendra Bajracharya and Chaulagain defeated another Olympiad participant Manish Hamal in the eighth-round matches.

With six points each to their credit, former Nepal champion Keshav Shrestha, Bilam Lal Shrestha, Prem Krishna Maharjan, Sujendra Prasad Shrestha and Ratna Byanjankar are in the third position. On Friday, Keshav defeated Rajan Chhetry; Bilam beat Bikash Kuluju; Sujendra outplayed Hari Chandra Chaulagain; and Ratna beat Ganesh Man Duwal.

Manish Hamal, Rajendra Bajracharya, Niraj Niraula, Rabindra Shakya, Ganesh Man Duwal, Saroj Pradhan, Ramesh Bhandari, Bijay Man Maharjan Babu Raja Maharjan, Rajendra Prasad Shrestha and Madhav Pradhan have five points each.

In women’s section, Monalisa Khambu and Asmita Adhikari are atop the standing with four points each.

Hamal looted:

KATHMANDU: A group of five-six persons on Thursday night robbed Chess Olympiad participant Manish Hamal near Gongabu Buspark. The robbers took away Hamal’s cell phone and 220 euros, informed Hira Kaji Shrestha, Press and Publicity convenor of the Nepal Chess Association. The gang also manhandled Hamal and his friend Roshan Jaiswal, who is also a chess player. — HNS