Thinley Namgay 

Bhutanese men’s chess players drew 2-2 against Palau yesterday in the ongoing 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai, India.

Bhutan earned 2.5 points from the six games played to date.

Suk Raj Monger and Bhakta Bahadur Monger won yesterday. However, three women players lost to Ghana’s players.

Bhutan couldn’t win in the first and second games.

On July 30, the women’s team played against Malta and Sonam Choden earned the first point for Bhutan. She drew against Psaila Uranchimeg, a candidate master player, and managed half a point. In a game of chess, the winner gets one point, and in the case of a draw, half a point is awarded to both teams.

Kenya defeated the men’s team on July 30. Suk Raj Monger lost to Ben Namale, who is rated 1,962 and the second highest rated player from Kenya’s open team, after 69 moves. The average game of chess is 40 moves.

On July 29, Bhutan’s men played against El Salvador and lost despite a ‘good performance’. El Salvador has a strong team with all four players who are   Master rated – three international masters and a  federation master.

Team Captain Palden said: “At the end of the match, the El Salvador team stated that the Bhutan team played very well.”

The women’s team lost to Montenegro on July 29, which had an international master player.

Captain Palden said that for its first international appearance the women’s team displayed a strong performance.

The current tournament follows a non-eliminating tournament format which features a fixed number of rounds or competitions, less than the round-robin tournament.