The dice rolled in favour of the host in the women’s section with India 1 moving within the gold medal-grabbing distance in the Chess Olympiad.
In the 10th and penultimate round on Monday, the trio of K. Humpy, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni scored thumping victories to set up a resounding 3.5-0.5 over Kazakhstan, one of the three fellow-overnight leaders.
What gave India 1 a one-point lead at 17 points was the 2-2 deadlock involving the other two overnight leaders Georgia and Poland.
As things stand, a final-round victory over the US women will ensure the historic gold medal. In the Open section, India 1 also plays USA while India 2 takes on Germany.
The joy could have stood doubled if in-form D. Gukesh not slipped from a clearly better position to a heart-breaking loss against rising superstar Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the Open section. Gukesh’s defeat following a late one-move blunder in time-pressure nullified the lead provided by R. Praggnanandhaa and the match ended 2-2. Before Uzbekistan escaped with a draw to reach 17 points, Armenia reached the tally with a 3-1 drubbing of Azerbaijan.
With India 2 missing a golden opportunity to displace Uzbekistan from the pedestal, it now has the company of USA, India 1, Armenia at 16 points for a share of the third spot.
On a day when Magnus Carlsen drew and Norway (12) lost 1.5-2.5 to Moldova for its third loss, India 1 stayed in medal contention with a 2.5-1.5 victory over formidable Iran. P. Harikrishna’s loss on the top board was more than compensated by Vidit Gujrathi’s first victory, combined with S. L. Narayanan’s late, match-deciding triumph.
Top standings (after 10 rounds):
The results (10th round)
- India vs England Live Score, 4th Test Day 2: ENG 302/7; Root century pulls ENG past 300
- WPL 2024: Sajana smashes last ball six as Mumbai Indians seals dramatic opener vs Delhi Capitals
- MI vs DC Highlights, WPL 2024: Last-ball six from Sajana clinches thriller for Mumbai Indians
- Dubai Championships 2024: Qualifier Kalinskaya upsets World No. 1 Swiatek, faces Paolini in final
- ISL 2023-24: Bipin grabs brace as Mumbai City cruises to win against Chennaiyin