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Less-than-impressive wins for Indian teams

India posted less-than-impressive victories in both sections in the second round of the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The second successive triumph kept India among the leaders at four match-points each. In the third round, Indian men face Slovenia and women play Armenia.

India was expected to crush the teenagers from Turkey-2016 team but conceded two draws with black pieces for a 3-1 victory. The ladies also fell short of blanking Australia and settled for a 3.5-0.5 triumph.

K. Sasikiran tamed Burak Firat, the oldest member of the team at 19, in 47 moves after Gupta had put India ahead by beating 14-year-old Vahap Sanal in 26 moves. On the fourth board, Gopal also played 26 moves but failed to get past 15-year-old Muhammed Batuhan Dastan.

Parimarjan Negi was expected to increase India’s winning margin but he struggled to make the most of his extra pawn and drew in 70 moves against 14-year-old Cemil Can Ali Marandi.

In comparison, the ladies fared better. With spearhead D. Harika rested for the match, National champion Mary Ann Gomes lived up to expectations by beating Giang Nguyen on the third board. Soumya Swaminathan surprisingly drew with Biljana Novakovic-Dekic, rated over 167 points below.

Eesha Karavade stopped Arianne Caoli on the top board in 32 moves before Tania Sachdev enhanced India’s tally.

The day’s surprises included Qatar’s Mohammad Al-Modiahki, stunning Ukraine’s Vassily Ivanchuk on the top board. .

The results (second round):Open: India (4) bt Turkey 2016 (2) 3-1 (K. Sasikiran bt Burak Firat; Parimarjan Negi drew with Cemil Can Ali Marandi; Abhijeet Gupta bt Vahap Sanal; G.N. Gopal drew with Muhammad Batuhan Dastan); Qatar (2) lost to Ukraine (4) 1-3; USA (4) bt Lithuania (2) 3.5-0.5; Azerbaijan (4) bt Ireland (2) 3.5-0.5; Peru (2) lost to France (4) 0.5-3.5; Cuba (4) bt Israel (2) 3.5-0.5; Costa Rica (2) lost to Poland (4) 0-4; Greece (2) lost to Russia (4) 1-3; China (4) bt Italy (2) 3.5-0.5; England (4) bt Brazil (2) 2.5-1.5.

Women: India (4) bt Australia (2) 3.5-0.5 (Eesha Karavade bt Arianne Caoili; Tania Sachdev bt Sally Yu; Mary Ann Gomes bt Giang Nguyen; Soumya Swaminathan drew with Biljana Novakovic-Dekic); Sweden (2) lost to China (4) 0-4; Russia (4) bt Brazil (2) 3.5-0.5; Belguim (2) lost to Georgia (4) 0-4; Estonia (2) lost to USA (4) 0.5-3.5; Venezuela (2) lost to Poland (4) 0-4; Indonesia (3) draws with Bulgaria (3) 2-2; France (4) bt Chile (2) 4-0; Ukraine (3) drew with Cuba (3) 2-2; Slovenia (4) bt Philippines (2) 2.5-1.5.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 4:42:15 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/lessthanimpressive-wins-for-indian-teams/article3841175.ece