FIDE World Women Team C’ship: Mary shows the way as India reaches semifinals

Mary Ann Gomes won both her games to decide India’s fate in each set against Kazakhstan and paved the way for a place in the semifinals.

Mary Ann Gomes went on to complete a hard-fought victory in the first set to make it 2-2.   -  RAKESH RAO

A tenacious Mary Ann Gomes won both her games to decide India’s fate in each set against Kazakhstan and paved the way for a place in the semifinals of the FIDE world women team chess championship on Thursday.

After holding promising positions on all four boards, India just about managed to beat Kazakhstan 2.5-1.5 in the second set of the quarterfinals. Even in the first set, India had its moments before managing to make it 2-2.

In the semifinals, India plays formidable Georgia on Friday.

In the second set, Tania Sachdev blundered under time-pressure in a winning position to lose the first decisive game.

ALSO READ - Anand hopes one of talented Indian youngsters will become world champ in future

R. Vaishali drew again on the second board. D. Harika came up with a clinical finish to help India draw level. Now all eyes were on Mary Ann Gomes, whose victory in the first set helped India make it 2-2. Mary regained her hold to post a match-clinching victory.

It may be recalled that Mary made the squad at the last minute in place of spearhead K. Humpy. With her twin-wins at crucial times, she has very well justified her presence in the team.

Earlier, in the first set, India was in danger of losing the match with Mary looking in serious trouble after Vaishali drew her game on the second board. Bhakti Kulkarni’s loss on the third board was a serious setback to India.

Thereafter, Mary gained by some unimaginative play by her rival to reach a winning position. Harika, too, raised visions of a comfortable victory after her opponent blundered.

But Harika’s late oversight saw her game end in a draw. Mary went on to complete a hard-fought victory to make it 2-2.

The results (Quarterfinals - Set 1)

1. India drew with Kazakhstan 2-2 (D. Harika drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik; R. Vaishali drew with Dinara Saduakassova; Bhakti Kulkarni lost to Meruert Kamilidenova; Mary Ann Gomes bt Gulmira Dauletova).

2. Georgia bt Azerbaijan 3.5-0.5;

3. Ukraine lost to Armenia 1-3;

4. Russia bt FIDE Americas 4-0.

Quarterfinals - Set 2

1. Kazakhstan lost to India 1.5-2.5 (Abdumalik lost to Harika; Saduakassova drew with Vaishali; Kamalidenova bt Tania Sachdev; Dauletova lost to Mary);

2. Azerbaijan drew with Georgia 2-2;

3. Armenia lost to Ukraine 0.5-3.5;

4. FIDE Americas lost to Russia 1-3.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :