K. Sasikiran capitalised on a late blunder by Jiri Stocek and provided the winning margin as India downed a fighting Czech Republic 2.5-1.5 to stay in the medal-hunt after eight rounds of
Chess Olympiad here on Tuesday.
However, the Indian women’s medal chances received a major blow after their Hungarian counterparts handed out a shock 3-1 defeat. India, in spite of enjoying rating superiority on every board against the 13th seeded rival, suffered its first loss of the competition. K. Humpy and Tania Sachdev lost with black pieces while D. Harika and Eesha Karavade drew, with white, without ever looking superior to their rivals.
The consolation to the Indian camp was provided by Sasikiran’s crushing victory. India’s sixth victory was worth a share of the third place - behind leader USA and second-placed Poland - with six other countries.
After Viswanathan Anand and B. Adhiban drew their games with black pieces, Sasikiran and Vidit Gujarati went about their task of pressing home the advantage of playing with white pieces.
Much before Vidit settled for a draw following a 67-move marathon spread over five hours with Viktor Laznika who escaped defeat with sound defensive ploys, Sasikiran gave the Indian camp much to cheer about when he punished Stocek for a poor pawn-move on the 34th turn
and tightened the noose two moves later.
- NBA roundup: Knicks get ref-aided win over Pistons
- Ranji Trophy LIVE score, Day 5 Quarterfinal updates: Vidarbha beats Karnataka to qualify for semifinal; Kotian, Deshpande help Mumbai set 606-run target vs Baroda
- Elena Norman resigns as Hockey India CEO
- Shami undergoes ankle surgery, set to miss IPL 2024
- Kotian, Deshpande register second-highest 10th wicket partnership in Ranji Trophy history