Victories for Vidit Gujrathi and S. L. Narayanan on the first and third boards with black pieces set up India’s much-needed 3-1 triumph over USA in the last league match for a place in the quarterfinals of the World Team Chess Championship in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Vidit defeated Hans Moke Niemann and Narayanan overpowered Varuzhan Akobian to give India a formidable 2-0 lead. On the second board, Nihal Sarin’s draw against Alexander Onishchuk earned India the winning lead. Later, S. P. Sethuraman, in spite of having a knight less on the board, drew with Yunieskey Quesada Perez to complete India’s triumph.
Having suffered a 0.5-3.5 humiliation to Uzbekistan on Monday evening after Vidit, Nihal Sarin and Abhijeet Gupta lost and only Naryanan salvaged a draw on the third board, India required a big win over USA to be among the four qualifying teams to the quarterfinal from the six-nation Group B.
On Wednesday, India will face France. In the other quarterfinals, China takes on Poland, Spain plays Azerbaijan and Ukraine meets Uzbekistan.