Veteran chess player Bilam Lal Shrestha has returned home achieving much more than what he had aimed at. “I had never imagined I would become a FIDE Master.
My aim was to boost my rating. Becoming a FIDE Master was a bonus for me,” said Shrestha, who returned home on Tuesday as a FIDE Master from the 39th Chess Olympiad.
He succeeded in improving his rating too. After his splendid performance in the Olympiad, Shrestha was able to add 42 points in his rating. Now he has become the top-rated chess player of Nepal with 2138 rating points. He was able to gain 6.5 points from nine games in the Olympiad that concluded on Sunday in the northern Russian town of Khanty.
Shrestha is Nepal´s second FIDE Master. Manish Hamal had achieved the feat of becoming Nepal´s first FIDE Master after his success in the 38th Chess Olympiad in 2008.
“There was a lot of mess before my trip. I wasn´t sure whether to go or not until the last minute,” he recalled the situation ahead of attending the Olympiad. “I had a keen desire to do something. It was good that I returned to the game that I had left long ago. I had gone to improve my rating, but returned as a FIDE Master. What can be more pleasant than that?” he added.
Remembering the last round match, Shrestha said, “I was guaranteed the title of FIDE Master even for a draw. I knew that I could lose the match if I got excited. So I played with a cool mind.”
Shrestha was able to get the coveted title after about three decades of his involvement in the game. He was the Lalitpur chess champion in 1981. He got engaged in the game intensely after winning the title. But he left playing chess in the middle because he couldn’t manage time while working in a private firm.
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