FIDE World Team Chess Championship | India get the better of United States, advance to quarters
A file picture of Vidit Gujrathi. (FIDE)
India overcame USA 3-1 in a Pool B match in the fifth round on the strength of victories from Vidit Gujrathi and SL Narayanan to advance to the quarterfinals of the FIDE World Team Chess Championship. With their second victory, India will now face France on Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
To secure the triumph, Gujrathi and Narayanan each defeated Hans Niemann and Varuzhan Akobian. Gujrathi defeated the top-ranked Niemann in 37 moves, and Narayanan defeated Akobian in 38 moves.
In their matches against Alexander Onischuk and Yuniesky Quesada Perez, respectively, Nihal Sarin and SP Sethuraman drew.
Spain vs. Azerbaijan, China vs. Poland, and Ukraine vs. Uzbekistan are the remaining quarterfinal matchups. The Indian squad had mixed results earlier in the third and fourth rounds. Uzbekistan defeated the Indians in the following round after defeating Azerbaijan in the third round.
Gujrathi, who was playing on the top board, defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who was rated higher, to play a key role in Azerbaijan (2662)'s late-Monday 2.5-1.5 victory. The other three boards' games were drawn. Teimour Radjabov, who was ranked better than Sarin, won the match, and SL Narayanan and K Sasikiran also shared first place with Gadir Guseinov and Rauf.
To their dismay, the squad lost 0.5-3.5 to Uzbekistan in the fourth round, with only Narayanan achieving a tie against Shamsiddin Vokhidov. Javokhir Sindarov defeated the higher-rated Sarin, while Nodirbek Yakubboev defeated Gujrathi. In 51 moves, Jakhongir Vakhidov defeated Abhijeet Gupta to complete the route.