Asian Indoor Games: Sasikiran stays in medal contention

After the sixth and penultimate round, Sasikiran was joint third with 4.5 points. The third seed needs to beat host’s Meilis Annberdiev (4) with black pieces on Sunday to keep alive his chances of a medal.

K. Sasikiran remains the best medal hope for India.   -  Arvind Aaron (File Photo)

K. Sasikiran remained the best medal hope for India in the classical time format in the Asian Indoor Games in Ashgabat on Saturday.

After the sixth and penultimate round, Sasikiran was joint third with 4.5 points. The third seed needs to beat host’s Meilis Annberdiev (4) with black pieces on Sunday to keep alive his chances of a medal.

Besides a last-round victory, Sasikiran will also hope that fourth seed Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4) beats fifth seeded Chinese joint leader Lu Shanglei (5). Favourite and co-leader Le Quang Liem (5) faces Iran’s Idani Pouya (4.5).

Among the ladies, Tania Sachdev and S. Vijayalakshmi (four points each) are virtually out of medal contention after sharing the fifth spot with five others.

World champion Tan Zhongyi (5.5) holds a one-point lead and needs only a draw in the final round to ensure the gold medal.

Results (involving Indians):

Men, Sixth round: K. Sasikiran (4.5) drew with Lu Shanglei (Chn, 5); Surya Shekhar Ganguly (4) beat Nezad Husein Aziz (Qat, 3) Fifth round: Le Quang Liem (Vie, 4) drew with Sasikiran (4); Pouya Idani (Iri, 4) beat Ganguly (3).

Women,
Sixth round: Tania Sachdev (4) drew with Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 4); Mahri Geldiyeva (Tkm, 3) lost to S. Vijayalakshmi (4) Fifth round: Dinara Sadukassova (Kaz, 3.5) drew with Tania (3.5); Vijayalakshmi (3) beat Diana Omurbekova (Kgz, 2).