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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

S. Asian Amateur Chess in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: Nepal is hosting the first South Asian Amateur Chess Championship next month with around 100 players from the region taking part in the inaugural edition to be held from February 1-6.

“We are hosting such big event of chess for the first time in South Asia and we need cooperation from all the quarters of society,” said Rajesh Hari Joshi, President of Nepal Chess Association, at a press meet today.

Around 100 players including 30 women from all the South Asian nations except for Afghanistan have confirmed their participation in the February 1-6 tournament — for below 2,000-rated players — to be held at the Russian Culture Centre. “The number of participants might go up as we have also invited top two players each from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bhutan,” added Joshi.

As of now 60 Nepali players including 10 women have confirmed their names for the championship that offers a cash purse of Rs 222,000, informed Press Coordinator Herakaji Maharjan, who is also the Secretary of NCA. The top three players will receive Rs 50,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. Others in the top 15 will also get their share of cash prizes. Likewise, the winners in other categories — unrated, women, veteran, U-15, rated below 1,600, 1,699 and 1,799 — will also get cash.

“The World Chess Federation has provided us financial help for this tournament but we are planning to make it big in future. We have decided to propose the world chess governing body to make it an official event during the FIDE congress in August in Norway,” Joshi added.

National Sports Council, Nepal Tourism Board and Hotel Mountain are the partners of the tournament to managed by Kathmandu District Chess Association. After the tournament, Geoffrey D Borg, Chief Executive Officer at the FIDE will conduct the Trainer’s Seminar from February 7-9. -- Agencies


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