India off to a winning start in 43rd Chess Olympiad

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India off to a winning start in 43rd Chess Olympiad

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SportsCafe Desk


Indian women chess team has got off to a great start in the 43rd Chess Olympiad as they cruised into the next round with a 4-0 win against New Zealand. The Indian men also recorded a victory against El Salvador 3.5-0.5 with B. Adhihan, Hari Krishna and Vidit Gujrathi winning their matches.

Indian women team thrashed the New Zealand team 4-0 in the first round of the competition. Tania Sachdev faced some problems in her match against Vyanla Punsalan. However, three others Koneru Humpy, Eesha Karavade and Padmini Rout had easy games against their opponents.

In the Men’s round, the Indian team, which was missing Viswanathan Anand as he was rested, had no problems as P Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi and B. Adhihan began with victories on the first three boards. However, K.Sasikaran could not emulate his teammates and settled for a draw. 

The Indian teams gained two match points following the victory as the day produced a few individual upsets but the higher ranked teams prevailed. In the open section, 64 teams out of 184 scored a perfect 4-0 start and another 17 won conceding just a half point.

Harikrishna routed Ernesto Giron while Adhiban faced some problems against Daniel Arias. Vidit Gujrathi also won easily against Ricardo Ernesto Chavez.

Sasikiran faced initial difficulties despite a huge rating difference and had to sacrifice a pawn to reach promising end-game position. However, after some good defence from Carlos Burgos Figueroa, the Indian decided to take the draw as the team had already won.

Koneru Humpy returned after 2 years to play her first competitive game and got back to winning ways immediately. The Indian GM nailed Helen Milligan with black pieces. Jasmir Haomo Zhang was of no match against Karavade. Qin Nicole Shu Yu lost to Padmini Rout in another one-sided duel on the fourth board. Tania Sachdev came back from the jaws of defeat to win against Vyanla Punsalanlost.

The United States and Russia progressed with 4-0 wins but third-seeded China could only manage a 3-1 score against Morocco.

In the second round, the Indian men will be up against Austria while the Indian women will face Venezuela.

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