It turned out to be a disappointing final round for the Indian men as they went downing fighting against Russia 1.5-2.5 in the ninth and final round of the World Team Chess Championship on Thursday.
Having done some real hard work to be joint second after the penultimate rounds, a 2-2 result would given Indian a bronze and a victory would have ensured the silver medal for the team. But unfortunately, the loss came from position of strength.
National champion Aravindh Chithambaram missed out on a great opportunity to beat Dmitry Andreikin on the fourth board and Surya Ganguly, despite trying very hard, could not convert a complex but advantageous position against Ian Nepomniachtchi on the second board. Both these games ended in draws.
Baskaran Adhiban did his bit and drew with Sergey Karjakin on the top board earlier in the day but SP Sethuraman lost a long-drawn game against Alexander Grischuk on the third board, putting an end to Indian hopes of a medal despite being among the front runners from day one.
Russia had already won the gold with a round to spare and the victory added to their overnight score of 14 points, making it 16 in all. England demolished Sweden 3.5-0.5 to reach 13 points for a well deserved silver while the bronze went to China, thanks to a late surge that helped them reach 12 points.
In the final round the Chinese overcame local Kazakshtan team by a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin.
The Indian men ended fourth on 11 points. This was a remarkable performance minus the last rounds especially without the top three stalwarts Viswanathan Anand, P Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi.
Adhiban was outstanding on the top board scoring six points out of a possible nine and got the gold medal for his individual performance that was better than all other top board players. Ganguly with 7/9 was even better in the scoreline and also duly won the gold for the third board.
Meanwhile in the women’s championship being organised simultaneously, the Chinese women cruised home to their ninth straight victory defeating Ukraine 3.5-0.5.
While China scored 18 points, Russia played out a draw with Georgia to reach 14 points and bagged the silver while the Georgians won bronze on 12 points and a better tiebreak than Ukraine.
The Indian eves finished sixth on nine points after settling for a 2-2 draw with Hungary in the final round. Soumya Swaminathan lost to Anita Gara on the second board while Bhakti Kulkarni defeated Bianka Havanecz to level scores. The other two games were drawn.
Results final round open: Russia beat India 2.5-1.5 (Sergey Karjakin drew with B Adhiban; Surya Shekhar Ganguly drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi; Alexander Grischuk beat S P Sethuraman; Aravindh Chithambaram drew with Dmitry Andreikin); England beat Sweden 3.5-0.5; USA beat Iran 3-1; Azerbaijan beat Egypt 2.5-1.5; Kazakhstan lost to China 1.5-2.5.
Final Standings: 1. Russia 16. 2. England 13. 3. China 12. 4-5. India, USA 11 each; 6-7. Iran Azerbaijan 8 each; 8-9. Kazakhstan, Sweden 4 each; 10. Egypt 3.
Women: India drew with Hungary 2-2 (Hoang Thanh Trang drew with Eesha Karavade; Soumya Swaminathan lost to Anita Gara; Ticia Gara drew with Padmini Rout; Bhakti Kulkarni beat Bianka Havanecz); USA beat Egypt 2.5-1.5; Ukraine lost to China 0.5-3.5; Georgia drew with Russia 2-2; Kazakhstan beat Armenia 3-1.
Final standings: 1. China 18. 2. Russia 14. 3-4. Georgia, Ukraine 12 each. 5. Kazakhstan 10. 6. India 9. 7. USA 7. 8-9. Armenia, Hungary 4 each. 10. Egypt 0.