India registered its best ever fourth-place finish in the women's Chess Olympiad besides a board prize in each section in Istanbul on Sunday.
In the 11th and final round, the sixth seed India overpowered France 2.5-1.5 for a tally of 17 match-points to miss the podium by a whisker. Russia (20) took the title ahead of China (19) and Ukraine (18).
In the open section, Azerbaijan handed out India its only defeat following a 2.5-1.5 verdict. P. Hari Krishna’s defeat to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov proved decisive. The defeat pushed India to the 35th place.
Armenia defeated Hungary to take the gold with 19 match-points, a tally matched by runner-up Russia. Armenia was awarded the gold due to its superior tie-break tally. Ukraine collected the bronze medal.
Besides the heart-warming performance from the ladies team, there was more good news for India.
Abhijeet Gupta took the silver medal on the fourth board after scoring seven points from nine appearances. France’s Vladislav Tkachiev (6.5/8) clinched the gold and Germany’s Daniel Fridman (7/10) gained the bronze.
Tania Sachdev’s tally of 9 points from 11 games on the third board earned her the bronze medal behind gold-winner Russia’s Nadezhda Kosintseva (8/9) and silver-medallist Poland’s Jolanta Zawadzka (9/11).
Open: Azerbaijan (15) beat India (13) 2.5-1.5 (Eltaj Safarli drew with K. Sasikiran; Shakhriyar Mamedyarov bt P. Hari Krishna; Rauf Mamedov drew with Parimarjan Negi; Gadir Guseinov drew with G. N. Gopal).
Ukraine (18) bt China (17) 3-1; Hungary (15) lost to Armenia (19) 1.5-2.5; Russia (19) bt Germany (15) 3-1; Poland (15) lost to USA (17) 1.5-2.5; Argentina (14) lost to Netherlands (16); 1-3; Vietnam (16) bt Uzbekistan (14) 3-1; Romania (16) bt Philippines (14) 3-1; Cuba (15) bt Slovenia (14).
Women: France (15) lost to India (17) 1.5-2.5 (Almira Skripchenko lost to D. Harika; Sophie Millet drew with Tania Sachdev; Nino Maisuradze bt Mary Ann Gomes; Andreea Bollengier lost to Soumya Swaminathan).
Russia (20) bt Kazakhstan (15) 4-0; Bulgaria (14) lost to China (19) 1.5-2.5; Ukraine (18) bt Germany (15) 3.5-0.5; Peru (14) lost to Romania (16) 1.5-2.5; Uzbekistan (14) lost to Iran (15) 1.5-2.5; Spain (13) lost to Georgia (15) 1.5-2.5; Belarus (15) bt Azerbaijan (13) 2.5-1.5.
Keywords: Chess Olympiad