KATHMANDU, Sept 13: Sujana Lohani has become the first Nepali woman chess player to be awarded with the title of FIDE Master after registering victory in the ongoing 42th Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
Sujana, who is rated 1488, defeated Manyeli Mahlauli of Lesotho to collect six points required from eight boards during the 10th round. She did not play the first and second rounds. Sujana, who has won six matches and drawn two, will now face Jacobs Annelaine in the last round.
In other matches of the women’s section, Sindira Joshi became victorious while Monalisa Khamboo settled for a draw. Sindira overcame 1406-rated Leboela Maboloko. Simlarly, 1693-rated Shanta Thapa lost to Manyeli Mahlauli.
With two victories from four matches on Tuesday, Nepali women’s team collected 2.5 points to beat Lesotho, which collected 1.5 points in the 10th round.
New FIDE Master Sujana is the product of Greenland School. She trained under chess coach Manish Hamal, who had won the FIDE Master title eight years ago during the Parsvnath International Chess Tournament.
Likewise Nepal lost to Chinese Taipei 3-1 in the men’s section. Kshitiz Bhandari and Sajin Maharjan drew their respective matches while Keshav Shrestha and Bhupendra Niraula faced defeats.
Kshitiz, who is rated 2013, played a draw with 1842-rated Min Po-Yen. Similarly, 2034-rated Sajin was held to a draw by 1997-rated Yang Ching Wei.
In other matches, 2099-rated Keshav lost to 2170-rated Raymond Song while 2071-rated Bhupendra was beaten by 2009-rated Liu Yeh Yang.
In the 11th round, Nepal will face Iraq and Aruba in men’s and women’s sections respectively.