Indian men face El Salvador, women meet New Zealand; Anand, Harika rested

Seeded five, India has fielded P. Hari Krishna, Vidit Gujarati, B. Adhiban and K. Sasikiran on the four boards, in that order.

Five-time chess world champion Viswanathan Anand (C) during the ceremonial draw of lots at the 43rd Chess Olympiad, in Batumi (Georgia).   -  PTI

Paired with lowly-ranked El Salvador in the first round of the Chess Olympiad, India decided to give Viswanathan Anand some rest in the campaign opener here on Monday.

India, seeded five, has fielded P. Hari Krishna, Vidit Gujarati, B. Adhiban and K. Sasikiran on the four boards, in that order. El Salvador, seeded 94th, has an average rating of 2279 as compared to India’s 2724.

For around two hours, the live broadcast of the boards involving the Indian men was not available due to technical glitches. Thereafter, it was fixed, much to the relief of the Indian chess fans.

In the ladies section, where too, India is seeded five, D. Harika is missing from the starting line-up against New Zealand. K. Humpy, Tania Sachdev, Eesha Karavade and Padmini Rout are playing against a team, seeded 78th.

Late on Sunday, the premier event saw an impressive opening ceremony. Apart from Anand, who is also a Brand Ambassador for the Olympiad, none of the other Indian players were present. The two coaches for the Indian teams, R. B. Ramesh and Jacob Aagaard attended the ceremony.