Hari holds Carlsen as Indian men finish fourth, ladies fifth

India ended its World Chess Olympiad campaign in the open section by drawing its11th round match against Norway at Baku.

Hari Krishna Carlsen India Chess Olympiad

India's P. Hari Krishna maintained his unbeated by holding World Champion Magnus Carlsen to a draw.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM (File Photo)

Maintaining his unbeaten run, P. Hari Krishna drew with World champion Magnus Carlsen in 47 moves as the ninth seeded Indian men finished a creditable fourth while the women justified their fifth seeding in the Chess Olympiad at Baku, Azerbaijan, on Tuesday.

India, the 2014 bronze medallist, drew with Norway 2-2 in the open category and posted a similar result against USA in the ladies section. With India already out of medal contention with a round to spare, even a victory in the final round could not have helped its cause.

In the event of a victory over Norway, India would have remained fourth. A likely triumph for the ladies could have helped them take the fourth spot, in place of Russia, based on the tie-break scores.

For the record, second seed USA won the Open title, ahead of fifth seed Ukraine and favourite Russia. Among the ladies, top seed China claimed the gold, seventh seed Poland took the silver on tie-break scores ahead of second seed Ukraine, that settled for bronze.

Overall, it was a tremendous showing by the Indian men, playing without Viswanathan Anand who chooses to stay away from this premier team championship. Similarly, the ladies team, without K. Humpy, performed consistently.

In 11 rounds, the Indian men won seven, drew two and lost two while the ladies won six, drew four and lost just one. On the final day, Hari and B. Adhiban drew their games while Vidit Gujrathi scored over Aryan Tari. But S. P. Sethuraman’s loss to Frode Urkedal evened the score.

For the second successive day, Tania Sachdev’s victory helped India’s cause in a drawn encounter. In fact, had Padmini Rout not blundered away her rook for knight, India would have been victorious. Padmini’s loss, coupled with draws for D. Harika and Soumya Swaminathan saw USA prove equal to India.

The results (11th round):

Open: India (16) drew with Norway (16) 2-2 (P. Hari Krishna drew with Magnus Carlsen; B. Adhiban drew with Jon Ludvig Hammer; Vidit Gujrathi bt Aryan Tari; S. P. Sethuraman lost to Frode Urkedal); USA (20) bt Canada (15) 2.5-1.5; Ukraine (20) bt Slovenia (15) 3.5-0.5; Russia (18) bt Italy (15) 3-1; Peru (16) drew with England (16) 2-2.

Leading placings: 1-2. USA and Ukraine (20 match-points), 3. Russia (18), 4-10. India, Norway, Turkey, Poland, France, England and Peru (16).

Women: USA (16) drew with India (16) 2-2 (Irina Krush drew with D. Harika; Nazi Paikidze bt Padmini Rout; Anna Zatonskih lost to Tania Sachdev; Katerina Nemcova drew with Soumya Swaminathan); China (20) bt Russia (16) 2.5-1.5; Hungary (15) lost to Poland (17) 0.5-3.5; Ukraine (17) bt Bulgaria (15) 3-1.

Leading placings: 1. China (20 match-points), 2-3. Poland and Ukraine (17), 4-9. Russia, India, USA, Vietnam, Azerbaijan 1 and Israel (16 each).