NEW DELHI: National champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly put India ahead against Austria after beating Valery Atlas in just 34 moves on the third board in the fifth round of the Chess Olympiad at Dresden, Germany, on Monday.

P. Hari Krishna doubled the lead when he forced Stefan Kindermann to resign after trapping his rook.

K. Sasikiran, playing white, and G. N. Gopal were engaged in even battles with Markus Ragger and Martin Neubauer respectively.

Russia beats India

India, seeded 13, is looking good to beat the 54th-seeded Austria after narrowly losing to favourite Russia on Sunday. It was Ganguly’s defeat to Alexander Grischuk that helped Russia win 2.5-1.5.

In the ladies section, the 11th-seeded Indians were up against eighth seed Hungary. India decided to give D. Harika a break for this match.

As a result, the in-form Tania Sachdev moved to the top board and drew with Hoang Thanh Trang, who forced the decision, through perpetual checks, in 34 moves.

As the match moved into the fourth hour, keen battles were witnessed on the other three boards.

With seven rounds to go, India is placed 10th in the open section and sixth among the ladies.

The results (fourth round):

Open: Russia (11) beat India (10.5) 2.5-1.5 (Vladimir Kramnik drew with K. Sasikiran; Peter Svidler lost to P. Hari Krishna; Alexander Grischuk bt Surya Shekhar Ganguly; Alexander Morozevich bt Sandipan Chanda); Ukraine (9.5) drew with Armenia (8) 2-2; Spain (10.5) lost to Germany 1 (8.5) 1.5-2.5; Norway (10.5) drew with England (11.5) 2-2.

Romania (10) lost to Hungary (11.5) 1-3; Azerbaijan (12) bt USA (9) 3-1; Faroe Islands (7) lost to The Netherlands (11) 1.5-2.5; Macedonia (7) lost to China (11) 0-4; El Salvador (6.5) lost to Lithuania (11) 0-4; Israel (10) bt Egypt (8.5) 2.5-1.5.

Ladies: India (10.5) bt Germany 1 (8.5) 3-1 (D. Harika drew with Elisabeth Paehtz; Tania Sachdev bt Ketino Kanchiani-Gersinska; Swati Ghate drew with Marta Michna; Mary Ann Gomes bt Sarah Hoolt); Hungary (13) drew with Georgia (10) 2-2; China (12.5) bt Armenia (10.5) 3.5-0.5; Serbia (10.5) lost to Poland (12.5) 1.5-2.5; Indonesia (8.5) lost to Russia (13) 0-4; Ukraine (10.5) drew with Lithuania (10.5) 2-2; Mexico (7.5) lost to Czech Republic (11.5) 1.5-2.5; Denmark (6.5) lost to Cuba (13) 0-4; Netherlands (10) bt Kyrgyzstan (9) 3-1; Vietnam (11) bt Venezuela (7.5) 3-1; Moldova (8) lost to USA (11.5) 1-3.

Leading pairings (fifth round):

Open: India-Austria; Germany-Russia; Armenia-The Netherlands; Hungary-Ukraine; Norway-Azerbaijan; England-Italy; Poland-Costa Rica; China-Scotland; Vietnam-Cuba and Denmark-Israel.

Ladies: India-Hungary; Poland-China; Russia-Georgia; Spain-Romania; Azerbaijan-Serbia; Ecuador-The Netherlands; Cuba-Uzbekistan and Czech Republic-Austria.

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