India got off to a splendid start at the online Chess Olympiad on Friday, winning all its three matches. The seventh seed finished the opening day at the top of Pool A with six points.
India had opened its campaign with an expectedly crushing 6-0 victory over the lowly Zimbabwe. It won all its six games, despite deciding to test the bench; skipper Vidit Gujrathi was the only main player to take the field.
India's second round opponent Vietnam was not to be taken lightly, so except for Viswanathan Anand, the big stars played. It won four of its matches, lost one and drew two for a 4-2 score.
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The third round saw Anand playing his first game, but was held to a draw by Uzbekistan's Nodiberk Abdusattarov. The five-time World champion should have won in the rook-ending, with a passed pawn up. He, however, erred on the 57th move and was forced to split the point after another 19 moves.
All the other five players posted victories though, to make it 5.5-0.5.
Second seed China also is on six points, but is second in the group – India's tie-break score is superior – with another six rounds remaining in the preliminary league.