Mamallapuram: India ‘B’ blanked Estonia 4-0 in the second round of the Open section in the 44th Chess Olympiad here on Saturday while the second-seeded ‘A’ team defeated Moldova 3.5-0.5 to make it two wins from as many matches.
World champion Magnus Carlsen was in the spotlight after missing the first round as he scored over Georg Meier to star in third-seeded Norway’s 4-0 victory against Uruguay.
The formidable USA team, the top-seed in the Open event, did not have it easy for a second straight day as the star-studded outfit could only manage a 2.5-1.5 victory over Paraguay after having dropped half a point against Angola on the first day.
45 teams won both matches in the Open section, but only 9 teams won them by 4-0: Ukraine, India B, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Georgia, Argentina, Cuba, Montenegro, and Canada. #ChessOlympiad pic.twitter.com/008MMa6wuA— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) July 30, 2022
In the women’s section, top-seeded India ‘A’ beat Argentina 3.5-0.5.
Koneru Humpy, playing on top board, was held to a draw by Marisa Zuriel in 44 moves but Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni posted victories over Maria Campos and Maria Belen Sarquis to give the team the victory before R Vaishali battled it out against Maria Jose Campos on the second board to seal the win.
India ‘B’ recorded a 3.5-0.5 win over Latvia with Mary Ann Gomes, Soumya Swaminathan and Mary Ann Gomes defeating their respective opponents — Laura Rogule, Agnesa S Ter-Avetisjana and Nellija Malkakova.
Padmini Rout could not get past Ilze Berzina and shared the point.
The third host team in the women’s section, India ‘C’ defeated Singapore 3-1 with victories for P V Nandhidhaa and Easha Karavade. Pratyusha Bodda and Vishwa Vasnawala were held to draws by Yang Hazel Liu and Kun Fang respectively.
The men’s event saw India ‘B’, seen by many including Carlsen and the legendary Viswanathan Anand as dark horses, stormed to a 4-0 win.
D Gukesh on the top board beat Kalle Kiik while R Praggnanandhaa on the second board, after being rested on Friday, beat Kirill Chukavin. There were wins for the experienced B Adhiban and Raunak Sadhwani against Aleksandr Volodin and Andrei Shishkov respectively.
For India ‘A’, the winners were P Harikrishna, S L Narayanan and K Sasikiran, all GMs while fellow GM and fast-rising Arjun Erigaisi could only draw against Andrei Macovei.
India ‘C’ rounded off the day with a comprehensive 3.5-0.5 defeat of Mexico.
In the USA-Paraguay match, world No.4 Fabiano Caruana was held by Axel Bachmann, as were Wesley So and Sam Shankland by their opponents Rami Delgado and M Ruben D Zacarias respectively.
Leinier Dominiguez Perez provided the winning point by defeating Jose Fernando Cubas.
In other matches in the Open event, there were wins for fourth-ranked Spain and fifth-ranked Poland over Belgium. While Spain recorded a 3.5-0.5 margin over their opponent, Poland secured a 3-1 victory. Sixth-ranked Azerbaijan got past the Philippines 3-1 for their second win.
After two rounds, India ‘B’ have four points (2 points for a victory) in the Open section.
Results – India’s matches: India ‘A’ beat Moldova 3.5-0.5 (P Harikrishna beat Ivan Schitco, Arjun Erigaisi drew with Andrei Macoveri, S L Narayanan beat Vladimir Hamitevici, K Sasikiran beat Lulian Baltag).
India ‘B’ beat Estonia 4-0 (D Gukesh beat Kalle Kiik, R Pragnanandhaa beat Kirill Chukavin, B Adhiban beat Aleksandr Volodin, Raunak Sadhwani beat Andrei Shishkov).
India ‘C’ beat Mexico 3.5-0.5 (Surya Shekhar Ganguly beat G Hernandez Guerrero, S P Sethuraman drew Chami Ibarra, Abhijeet Gupta drew Rosas Diaz, Karthikeyan Murali beat Vidal Capo).
Women: India A beat Argentina 3.5-0.5 (Konery Humy drew with Maria Zuriel, R Vaishali beat Maria Jose Campos, Tania Sachdev beat Rodas Borda, Bhakti Kulkarni beat Maria Belen Sarquis).
India ‘B’ beat Latvia 3.5-0.5 (Vantika Agrawal beat Laura Rogule, Padmini Rout drew with Ilze Berzina, Soumya Swaminathan beat Agnesa S Ter-Avetisja, Mary Ann Gomes beat Nellija Maklakova).
India ‘C’ beat Singapore 3-1 (Esha Karavade beat Anjela Khegay, P V Nandhidhaa beat Mei-En Emmanuelle, Pratyusha Bodda drew with Yamg Hazel Liu, Vishwa Vasnawala drew Kun Fang).