Players set eyes on int’l title

Lalitpur

Jul 29, 2014-

With eyes firmly set on international title, Nepali chess players are on Wednesday leaving for Norway to participate in the 41st Chess Olympiad — the biggest stage of the sport — beginning from August 1-14 in Tromso.

FIDE Masters (FM) Manish Hamal and Sujendra Prasad Shrestha, Candidate Master (CM) Keshav Shrestha along with Rijendra Raj Bhandari and Sajin Maharjan will participate in the men’s team. Bina Jaiswal, Monailsha Khamboo, Asmita Adhikari, Sangita Jaiswal and Suruchi Thing will make first ever Nepali women’s team to compete in the Olympiad.

While the women’s team is setting itself a modest target of gaining much-needed exposure, the men’s quintet has set itself a goal of adding international title to Nepali chess. Nepal’s first FM Manish Hamal is one of them harbouring the ambition.

“Being an FM, an International Master (IM) title is quite achievable for me provided I perform on my board,” said Hamal who had handed Nepal first ever FM title during the 2008 Dresden Olympiad in Germany. The tournament hands international title to players who achieve 66 percent points out of the total matches played.

Hamal believes that his FM title brought a new wave to Nepali chess and once again his performance will be crucial. “I strongly believe that if I manage to get the IM title, the number of chess players will soar up in Nepal,” added Hamal who ended up third in the 18th National Chess Championship which ensured on of the five tickets for Tromso Olympiad available for Nepali players.

For Nepal champion Keshav Shrestha the focus will remain on an international title. “We have prepared well but everything depends on how we execute them in Norway,” said Shrestha. Women’s champion Bina thanked the Nepal Chess Association (NCA) for confirming the women’s team participation, adding: “We were granted what we were looking for. We will try to make the best out of this opportunity.” Former national women’s champion Khamboo said the Olympiad is an opportunity to prove oneself. “We had been requesting the NCA to include the women’s team for a long time and finally we are at the cusp of making history. We have to prove that women’s chess is also capable of performing at a bigger stage,” said Khamboo.

 

Published: 30-07-2014 09:37

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