Thapa, Shrestha, Malakar share lead

Kathmandu, December 4:

Uttam Raj Thapa of Tanahu climbed atop the leaderboard to share the lead with Shyam Shrestha and Prasanna Malakar after the completion of the seventh round matches here at the second Shankhadhar Shakhwa Nationwide Open Chess Tournament today.

All three players have six points. Thapa beat Badri Lal Nepali in the sixth round before playing a draw against Prem Krishna Maharjan in the next round. Shrestha caught up Thapa after winning both the matches today.

Shrestha beat Harish Chandra Chaulagain in the sixth round before seeing off Badri Lal Nepali in the seventh. Malakar, however, started the sixth round with a draw against Ganesh Man Duwal before defeating Bilam Lal Shrestha in the next round.

Balram Napit, Manish Hamal, Prem Krishna Maharjan, Rajesh Bajracharya and Ganesh Man Duwal are next with 5.5 points each. Likewise, Badri Lal, Rabindra Shakya, Ratna Byanjankar, Sujendra Prasad Shrestha, Rajan Khatri and Harish Chaulagain are in the pack of six with five points each.

Top 20 players will receive cash prizes in the tournament organised by Nepal Chess Association. Top five ladies will also get their share of prizes. The tournament is played under Swiss League Format.