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World Team Chess Championship | Indian men flounder in the final round to finish fourth

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World Team Chess Championship | Indian men flounder in the final round to finish fourth

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SportsCafe Desk


India were placed at a joint second prior to the final round but it was a disappointing finish as they went down 1.5-2.5 after putting up a great fight against Russia in the final round on Thursday. A draw in the final round, or a victory would have given them a bronze or a silver respectively.

National champion Aravindh Chithambaram, Surya Ganguly and Baskaran Adhiban ended their matches in a draw against their respective opponents Dmitry Andreikin, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Sergey Karjakin. However, SP Sethuraman lost a hard-fought game against Alexander Grischuk, which put an end to India’s dream of a medal at the World Team Chess Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Russia had secured a gold medal in their previous round itself, with a score of 14, finally ending with a tally of 16 points. England thrashed Sweden 3.5-0.5 to end at 13 points and claimed the silver medal while a late surge, where Kazakhstan were beaten 2.5-1.5 by China, helped the Chinese secure a bronze.

However, Adhiban scored six out of possible nine to win a gold medal on the top board. Ganguly with seven out of nine, bettered him in the third board to win another gold medal for India. This was a fantastic performance as India were missing the services of their top three Viswanathan Anand, P Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi.

Meanwhile, in the women’s championship, India finished on the sixth position with a 2-2 draw in their final round against Hungary. Soumya Swaminathan lost to Anita Gara, Bhakti Kulkarni defeated Bianka Havanec. Eesha Karavade and Padmini Rout drew their matches with Hoang Thanh Trang and Ticia Gara respectively.

The Chinese cruised to their ninth victory in a row after beating Ukraine by a margin of 3.5-0.5. They scored 18 points, Russia came second with 14 points and Georgia scored 12 points to finish at the third position. Ukraine had also scored 12 but the Georgians had a better tiebreak.

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