Chess Olympiad Open Section Day 2: Indian teams keep winning; Paraguay stretches mighty USA

Magnus Carlsen resumed his Olympiad campaign after a six-year gap against Georg Meier and despite tough competition from the latter, Carlsen clinched a win in 80 moves.

Birthday boy  Fabiano Caruana (left) and Five-time World Champion Magnus Carlsen (right).

Birthday boy  Fabiano Caruana (left) and Five-time World Champion Magnus Carlsen (right). | Photo Credit: FIDE/Stev Bonhage

Magnus Carlsen resumed his Olympiad campaign after a six-year gap against Georg Meier and despite tough competition from the latter, Carlsen clinched a win in 80 moves.

The going got a bit tougher but Indian teams came out stronger, as expected.

These are earlier days in the Chess Olympiad here and the casualty list is still without a name on it. Stronger teams lived up to their seeding and added two more match-points. Unlike the opening round, more fancied teams dropped at least a draw or two on Saturday.

For the second straight day, USA’s search for a 4-0 sweep continued.

If it was Levon Aronian on Friday, three of his teammates - birthday-boy Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Sam Shankland - joined him on Sunday with a draw against their names. The winning difference was Leinier Dominguez Perez on the third board against Jose Fernando Cubas.

Unlike Caruana, World champion Magnus Carlsen resumed his Olympiad campaign after a six-year gap, with a late win. For the better part of the contest, up to the 74th move to be precise, Georg Meier played flawlessly. A dubious continuation by Meier on the 75th move paved Carlsen’s way to win in 80 moves.

For the host, it was another fruitful day. Though Arjun Erigaisi escaped with a draw, victories on other boards gave India 1 a comprehensive victory over Moldova. The much-followed India 2 raced away to a 4-0 triumph by playing to its reputation against Estonia. For India 3, M. Karthikeyan’s fourth-board win provided the decisive difference against Mexico as Surya Sekhar Ganguly, S. P. Sethuraman and Abhijeet Gupta followed with draws.

The results (second round, with match-points):
Moldova (2) lost to India 1 (4) 0.5-3.5 (Ivan Schitco lost to P. Harikrishna; Andrei Macovei drew with Arjun Erigaisi; Vladimir Hamitevici lost to S. L. Narayanan; Iulian Baltag lost to K. Sasikiran).
India 2 (4) bt Estonia (2) 4-0 (D. Gukesh bt Kiik Kalle; R. Praggnanandhaa bt Kirill Chukavin; B. Adhiban bt Aleksandr Volodin; Raunak Sadhwani bt Andrei Shishkov).
Mexico 4 (2) lost to India 3 (4) 1.5-2.5 (Gilberto Hernandez Guerrero drew with Surya Shekhar Ganguly; Luis Fernando Ibarra Chami drew with S. P. Sethuraman; Julio Cesar Diaz Rosas drew with Abhijeet Gupta; Uriel Capo Vidal lost to M. Karthikeyan).
USA (4) bt Paraguay (2) 2.5-1.5; Norway (4) bt Uruguay (2) 4-0; Belgium (2) lost to Spain (4) 0.5-3.5; Poland (4) bt Colombia (2) 3-1; Philippines (2) lost to Azerbaijan (4) 1-3; Netherlands (4) bt Portugal (2) 2.5-1.5; Albania (2) lost to Ukraine (4) 0-4; Germany (4) bt Finland (2) 3-1; Singapore (2) lost to England (4) 1-3.
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