Chess players and officials pose for a group photo during a farewell program organized by Nepal Chess Association at the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu on Tuesday.
KATHMANDU, Aug 30: Nepal's chess team is leaving for Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday to take part in the 42th Olympiad of Chess to be held there from September 1 to 14.
Five players each in men's and women's sections will vie in the team category. Bhupendra Niroula, Sajin Maharjan, Keshav Shrestha, Kshitij Bhandari and Bilam Lal Shrestha are the players to compete in the men's team event while Nepal Chess Association (NCA) General Secretary Hera Kaji Maharjan will accompany them as captain. Sindira Joshi, Shanta Thapa, Sujana Lohani, Mona Lisa Khumbu and Asmita Adhikari are the members of the women's team. NCA Vice President Madhav Prasad Pradhan is the team captain.
Olympiad is considered as the biggest tournament of chess at the international level. The event will see participation of 180 countries in the open event in Baku with 141 nations vying in the women's section.
It is the sixth occasion that Nepal is vying in Olympiad and the women's team will be competing for the second time.
According to NCA, it has set the target to claim the first position in its group and win trophies at the individual event. Nepal has never won a trophy in the team event. However, Manish Hamal and Bilam Lal Shrestha won FIDE Master titles while Prachanda Man Malakar was rewarded with Candidate Master trophy in the past.
Minister for Youth and Sports Daljit Sripali bade farewell to the players and officials on Wednesday in the program organized by the NCA.
Similarly, NCA informed that its advisors Subodh Sherpali, Manindra Lal Karnikar and Central Committee Member Umesh KC will also be leaving for Baku on September 4 to take part in the Organizing Commission's and Ethic Commission's meetings.