Harikrishna, Gujarati shine as India stuns Azerbaijan

India humbled fourth seed and host Azerbaijan 3-1 to stay in the joint lead after five rounds of the Chess Olympiad in Baku.

Harikrishna outplayed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2761) in 34 moves in the top-board battle.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

Riding on the stupendous victories, that too, with black pieces for P. Harikrishna and Vidit Gujarati, India humbled fourth seed and host Azerbaijan 3-1 to stay in the joint lead after five rounds of the Chess Olympiad in Baku, on Tuesday.

India remained in the company of China and the Netherlands as the teams with all-win records in the Open section.

In a match where Indians were lesser-rated on every board, Hari led the way. Rated 2752, Hari outplayed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2761) in 34 moves in the top-board battle. Vidit, on the third board, played above his rating of 2669 to stop Arkadij Naiditsch (2696) in 37 moves.

On the boards where the Indians played white, there were creditable draws. B. Adhiban (2671) proved equal to Teimour Radjabov (2722) in 37 moves and S. P. Sethuraman (2688) held Eltaj Safarli (2688) in 57 moves to complete an emphatic victory for India.

In the women’s section, fifth seed India was held 2-2 by 19th-seed Vietnam.

The results (fifth round):

Open: Azerbaijan 1 lost to India 1-3 (Shakhriyar Mamedyarov lost to P. Hari Krishna, Teimour Radjabov drew with B. Adhiban; Arkadij Naiditsch lost to Vidit Gujarati; Eltaj Safarli drew with S. P. Sethuraman).

Ladies: Vietnam drew with India 2-2 (Pham Le Thao Nguyen drew with D. Harika; Hong thi Bao Tram lost to Padmini Rout; Nguyen Thi Mai Hung bt Tania Sachdev; Nguyen Thi Thanh An drew with Soumya Swaminathan).