Chess Olympiad: Indian men beat Canada, women held by Serbia

India stayed among the leaders at six match-points in the open section while the women, with five match-points, slipped behind the leading teams.

Padmini Rout ran into serious trouble against lower-rated rival. (File Photo)   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Indian men continued their unbeaten run with a commanding 3.5-0.5 victory over Canada but the women were surprisingly held 2-2 in the third round of Chess Olympiad on Wednesday.

India stayed among the leaders at six match-points in the open section while the women, with five match-points, slipped behind the leading teams.

Viswanathan Anand and P. Hari Krishna dominated their rivals while K. Sasikiran gained from a late blunder committed by his opponent.

In the last game to finish, Vidit Gujarati proved equal to the experienced Evgeny Bareev. After accepting a pawn-sacrifice, Vidit traded his knight for two pawns.

Thereafter, Bareev kept Vidit under some pressure but eventually, the Indian held firm and the encounter ended in 72-move draw.

The Indian women, playing on the top table a day after favourite Russia crashed to a surprise 1.5-2.5 defeat to 31st seeded Uzbekistan in what should go down as one of the biggest upsets in Olympiad history, ran into a resolute combination from 23rd seeded Serbia.

Even as K. Humpy and D. Harika looked assured on the top two boards, Eesha Karavade and Padmini Rout ran into serious trouble against lower-rated rivals.

Eventually, Humpy won before Eesha and Padmini lost. Harika enlarged her advantage into a winning one to help India save the blushes.

The results (third round)

Open: Canada (4) lost to India (6) 0.5-3.5 (Eric Hansen lost to Viswanathan Anand; Razvan Preotu lost to P. Hari Krishna; Evgeny Bareev drew with Vidit Gujarati; Aman Hambleton lost to K. Sasikiran)

Women: Serbia (5) drew with India (5) 2-2 (Jovana Rapport lost to K. Humpy; Jovana Eric lost to D. Harika; Adela Velekic bt Eesha Karavade; Teodora Injac bt Padmini Rout).