The top-seeded India ‘A’ team outclassed Kazakhstan 3.5-0.5 for a crucial win in the 10th and penultimate round of the women’s section in the 44th Chess Olympiad on Monday. (More Sports News)
Top player Koneru Humpy returned to winning ways, beating Zhansaya Abdumalik while Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni scored over Xeniya Balabayeva and Gulikshan Nakhbayeva respectively. R Vaishali drew with Bibisara Assaubayeva on the second board.
In the Open section, the India ‘B’ team, which has been in sparkling form, had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Uzbekistan as the in-form D Gukesh lost to Nodirbek Abdusattorov, the reigning world rapid chess champion.
The teenaged GM Gukesh, who had scored 8.5 points from nine rounds leading into Monday’s match, faltered against fellow teenager Abdusattorov in a 72-move match. Gukesh’s talented compatriot R Praggnanandhaa defeated Javokhir Sindarov after Nihal Sarin and B Adhiban had drawn their respective games against Nodirbek Yakubboev and Jakhongir Vakhidov.
The India ‘A’ team, the second-seeds, overcame a loss for P Harikrishna on the top board to Param Maghsoodloo to beat Iran 2.5-1.5 and improve the chances of a podium finish. The India ‘C’ team (seeded 16) was held to a 2-2 draw by 34th-ranked Slovakia.
Armenia, who were in the lead after the eighth round, roared back to join Uzbekistan again following a 3-1 demolition of Azerbaijan. Both Armenia and Uzbekistan moved up to 17 match points with a round to play.
India ‘A’ has 16 match points. The top-seeded USA roared back into contention with a convincing 3-1 defeat of Turkey and joined India ‘A’ on 16 points.
Important Results: Open: India ‘B’ drew with Uzbekistan 2-2 (D Gukesh lost to Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Nihal Sarin drew with Nodirbek Yakkubboev, R Praggnanandhaa beat Javokhir Sindarov, B Adhiban drew with J Vakhidov).
India ‘A’ beat Iran 2.5-1.5 (P Harikrishna lost to Param Maghsoodloo, Vidit S Gujrathi beat M Amin Tabatabeai, Arjun Erigaisi drew with Pouya Idani, SL Narayan beat Bardiya Daneshvar).
India ‘C’ beat Slovakia 2-2 (SS Ganguly drew with Jergus Pechac, SP Sethuraman lost to Viktor Gazik, Karthikeyan Murali drew with Juraj Druska, Abhimanyu Puranik beat Christopher Repka).
Azerbaijan lost to Armenia 1-3, USA beat Turkey 3-1, Serbia drew with the Netherlands 2-2, Spain beat Czech Republic 2.5-1.5, Hungary drew with Ukraine 2-2, Germany beat Israel 3-1, England beat Italy 3-1, France drew with Lithuania 2-2.
Women: India ‘A’ beat Kazakhstan 3.5-0.5 (Koneru Humpy beat Zhansaya Abdumalik, R Vaishali drew with Bibisara Assaubayeva, Tania Sachdev beat Xeniya Balabayeva, Bhakti Kulkarni beat Gulikshan Nakhbayeva),
India ‘B’ beat the Netherlands 3-1 (Vantika Agrawal lost to Zhaoqin Peng, Padmini Rout beat Machteld van Foreest, Mary Ann Gomes beat Rosa Ratsma, Divya Deshmukh beat Tea Lachava).
India ‘C’ beat Sweden 3-1 (Easha Karavade drew with Pia Cramling, PV Nandhidhaa beat Inna Agrest, Varshini Sahiti drew with Bel Cramling, Pratyusha Bodda beat Viktoria Johansson).
Georgia drew with Poland 2-2, Germany lost to Ukraine 1.5-2.5, Armenia lost to Azerbaijan 0-4, USA beat Indonesia 3-1, Cuba lost to Slovakia 1.5-2.5, Mongolia drew with Bulgaria 2-2, Hungary beat Italy 3.5-0.5.