Indian chess teams had a mixed day in office in the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia, on Thursday with the men’s team going down 2.5-1.5 against top seeds USA while the women returning to winning ways with a convincing 3-1 win over Poland in the fourth round.
The men, led by Viswanathan Anand, had gone into their fourth round tie on a high having won their previous three matches but it was always a difficult task to achieve a similar result against USA.
And when P Harikrishna and K Sasikiran settled for quick draws on the second and fourth board against Wesley So and Samuel Shankland respectively, it looked like the Indians would try and go for parity.
But Anand, playing black, struggled through out in the Catalan variation from world championship challenger Fabiano Caruana and lost in 26 moves. India’s hopes of a fightback rested on Vidit Gujarathi but the youngster signed a peace treaty soon after Anand’s loss to end India’s challenge.
The men will now face Paraguay in the next round.
While the men suffered their first loss, the women bounced back in style after being held to a 2-2 draw by Serbia. Tania Sachdev, who was rested against the Serbs, defeated Klaudia Kulon on third board and D Harika continued her good run with a victory over Jolanta Zawadzka to help the team stay in medal hunt.
They will now face Argentina in the next round.
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