Finally, after this nightmare of exchanging blunders here and there, R. Praggnanandhaa won against Vasif Durarbayli of Azerbaijan. That meant a 2-2 result for India men’s 2, which, given all the excitement today, is a very good result. I’ll take the draw over a defeat and the heartbreak. It was tough for poor Raunak Sadhwani and for everyone. But it shows the expectations we now have from them and every little thing saved feels like a disappointment. So, let’s keep that perspective in mind.
In the women’s section, it’s really a blow that R. Vaishali lost this endgame to Oliwia Koplbasa. At the beginning, it seemed like it should be a draw but then she slowly got outplayed and we lost the match.
India 1 (men) recovering is of course very good news. The thing is, it might not help them very much since Uzbekistan had such a good performance today, beating Armenia 3-1. So, Uzbekistan now leapfrogs everyone. They are such a strong team and had beaten Peru 4-0 and somebody told me what an incredible result that was.
The USA pulled together despite Levon Aronian losing on Board 2. With so much class in this team, they’re always in with a chance to win the tournament.
K. Sasikiran and Arjun Erigaisi won to clinch it for India 1 and that’s fantastic. I’m glad that S.P. Sethuraman and Karthikeyan Murali, too, were able to win and help India 3 in the open section.
Our women from India 2 and India 3 also had comfortable victories.
But a tough day from our perspective and let’s keep in mind that Uzbekistan and the USA are right back in it. So, the same could still happen to India 2 or even India 1. They are, by no means, out of it.
And Praggnanandhaa’s win might even turn out to be crucial.