A day of sensational drama produced some thrilling action, with some late strikes changing the projected results on its head.
For instance, India 1 needed late strikes from Tania Sachdev and R. Vaishali to more than nullify the defeat of K. Humpy in a thrilling match against sixth seed Azerbaijan.
In the Open section, after the USA twice took the lead against Armenia through Wesley So and Dominguez Perez while Gabriel Sargissian made it 1-1 by upstaging Fabiano Caruana, all eyes were on the fourth board.
USA was staring at the prospect of dropping its second draw of the week, when Sam Shankland seemingly recovered enough against Robert Hoyhannisyan to take the team closer to a match-winning draw. But that was not to be.
Amid mounting tension, Shankland moved his king assuming a check that wasn’t. The American realised his mistake and kept his king on the square from where he had picked it. He wanted to block the ensuing threat with his queen but he had no choice. Since he had touched his king intentionally, he could not play the queen. A shaken Shankland saw only one square for the king, leading to a loss, and extended his hand in resignation.
The match ended 2-2 and Armenia stayed in the lead at 13 points, one ahead of USA and India among others.
On Saturday, India 1 faces Armenia and India 2 takes on USA. Among the women, India 1 faces Ukraine in the key battle of the top-two seeds.
In what was the first-ever clash involving Indians teams in an Olympiad, Arjun Erigaisi and S. L. Narayanan struck on the lower boards for India 1 to push India 3 down the slope. While a seventh win for D. Gukesh was the highpoint of an expected victory for India 2 against Cuba, the all-India clash produced some intense action.
After P. Harikrishna once again showed how well prepared in the opening phase against Surya Shekhar Ganguly in their drawn game, Narayanan scored over Abhimanyu Puranik on Board 4. The Kerala-player played to his rating superiority against his younger rival.
Vidit Gujrathi was again involved in a draw, but Arjun Erigaisi continued the sequence of winning every odd-numbered round, on this day against Abhijeet Gupta.
The Results (with match-points):
- WI vs IND, 2nd Test: India eight wickets away from a series clean sweep against West Indies
- IND vs WI 2nd Test, Day 4 Highlights: Ashwin picks two, West Indies 76/2 in 365 chase vs India at stumps
- They didn’t even try playing shots, Mhambrey on West Indies batters
- Hopman Cup: Croatia downs Switzerland to clinch title
- Jonas Vingegaard wins second successive Tour de France