Anand leads India’s emphatic win over Paraguay

Anand shook off the reverse suffered at the hands of World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana to prove his superiority against Neuris Delgado Ramirez.

Anand shook off the reverse suffered at the hands of World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana to prove his superiority against Neuris Delgado Ramirez.   -  PTI

 

Viswanathan Anand bounced back from Thursday’s setback to lead India’s emphatic 3.5-0.5 victory over Paraguay before the women’s team posted an identical scoreline against Argentina in the fifth round of Chess Olympiad here on Friday.

Though the Indian victories were expected, there were lots of surprises, too, before the event’s only rest day on Saturday.

Eleventh seed Poland, which stunned second seed Russia 2.5-1.5 on Thursday, pulled off an emphatic 3-1 surprise over seventh seed France for a share of lead with Azerbaijan, Czech Republic and Ukraine for a clean record. Of the lot, 12th seed Czech Republic humbled third seed China 3-1.

Even as top seed USA — India’s conqueror in the fourth round — was being held 2-2 by 14th seed Israel, India stayed focussed on the job in hand to score its fourth victory.

Anand shook off the reverse suffered at the hands of World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana to prove his superiority against Neuris Delgado Ramirez, rated 2619. During this 26-move mismatch, Anand cornered the rival king on the queen’s side with a planned assault with the help of queen, rook and the black-squared bishop.

B. Adhiban won with black pieces following a dominating show against Antonio Almiron while K. Sasikiran sacrificed his queen for a rook and

bishop to halt his low-rated rival. All this while, P. Hari Krishna was involved in an equal battle with Guillermo Vaquez and soon decided to sign peace.

The Indian women moved to the joint second place, behind USA, after maintaining their unbeaten run.

The women’s quartet was heading for a possible 4-0 win at one stage before D. Harika blundered a pawn and slowly headed for a certain loss. In the meantime, Eesha Karavade opened India’s account on the fourth board and soon Tania Sachdev completed another controlled win.

K. Humpy, solid as ever, took her time to win before Harika escaped with a draw following a late blunder from her rival.

The results (fifth round):

Open: India (8) bt Paraguay (6) 3.5-0.5 (Viswanathan Anand bt Neuris Delgado Ramirez; P. Hari Krishna drew with Guillermo Vaquez; B. Adhiban bt Antonio Almiron; K. Sasikiran bt Paulo Jodorcovsky Werjivker); Armenia (8) lost to Azerbaijan (10) 1.5-2.5; France (8) lost to Poland (10) 1-3; China (8) lost to Czech Republic (10) 1-3; Ukraine (10) bt Spain (7) 2.5-1.5.

Women: Argentina (7) lost to India (9) 3.5-0.5 (Carolina Lujan lost to K. Humpy; Claudia Amura drew with D. Harika; Maria Florencia Fernandez lost to Tania Sachdev; Ayelen Martinez lost to Eesha Karavade); Armenia (9) drew with China (9) 2-2; USA (10) bt Mongolia (8) 3.5-0.5; Georgia 1 (9) drew with Ukraine (9) 2-2.