Gangtok: Sikkim lad Rahul Gurung has bagged the champion’s title at the 3rd Thechambu Yangwarak International Open Chess Tournament 2019 that was held at Taplejung in Nepal from April 22 to 29 this year. Gurung, who is also the current Northeast champion, was awarded with a cash prize of Rs 50,000 along with the winner’s trophy.
Altogether, 11 players from the Sikkim Chess Association (SCA) had participated in the international tournament. Apart from Rahul Gurung, Rohit Gurung stood fourth, Thendup Tamang sixth and Rakesh Gurung bagged the ninth position in the event.
In terms of Elo Rating (a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in zero-sum games such as chess) in the 1,000-1,500 category, Rick Gupta got the first prize and also improved his 187 rating in the tournament. In unrated category, Prashant Nepali received the third prize.
The remaining participants from SCA displayed impressive performances and got the FIDE rating in this tournament. The Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) governs international chess competition. The new FIDE-rated players from Sikkim are Abhiraj Parajuli, Abhiral Sharma, Aradhya Raj Pokhrel, Rahul Chettri and Sherap Nima Tamang.
SCA general secretary Mahendra Dhakal congratulated the team members for their impressive performance despite the tough competition. “It is a big achievement for us to witness Rahul emerge as the champion and to see others also finish the tournament in decent positions. Sikkimese have become rated players during this tournament and lately has dominated the entire Northeast region, North Bengal and Nepal in chess,” he said.