World Team Chess: Indian men draw with Azerbaijan

S.P. Sethuraman was the first to end his game against Nidjat Mamedov and it was left to Krishnan Sasikiran to provide the breakthrough.

B. Adhiban played a rock-solid game against in-form Arkadij Naiditsch.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

Drawing on all four boards, the Indian men played out a 2-2 draw with Azerbaijan in the seventh round of the World Team Chess Championship on Monday.

B. Adhiban played a rock-solid game with black pieces on the top board against in-form Arkadij Naiditsch and Surya Shekhar Ganguly was also spot on with black on the third board signing peace with Safarli Eltaj.

S.P. Sethuraman was the first to end his game against Nidjat Mamedov and it was left to Krishnan Sasikiran to provide the breakthrough.

Sasikiran stood better for the major part of the game but with the clock ticking away decided taking against undue risk and split the point.

The draws mean that the Indian men will now hold the third spot on ten points as the English team posted a convincing 2.5-1.5 victory over Egypt. The Russian men also came up with a 2.5-1.5 triumph over United States to inch closer to the gold medal.

With Russia on 12 points, England is now on 11 while the Indian men hold the third spot on ten points. China and USA share the fourth spot on eight points each and both are within striking distance of India.

In the next round, the Indian men will clash with USA before a final round outing against Russia.

The Indian eves crashed through the defenses of United States scoring a huge 4-0 victory in the women’s championship being held simultaneously.

Playing black on the top board, Eesha Karavade launched an early attack and was rewarded in the ensuing endgame against Tatev Abrahamyan and Soumya Swaminathan overpowered Katerina Nemcova on the second board.

Padmini Rout struck form on the third board and outplayed Carissa Yip while on the fourth board Bhakti Kulkarni came back strongly to beat Sabina-Francesca Foisor.

The victory gave the Indian women a new lease in what was looking like a lost cause after a good start.

The Chinese women almost sealed the gold medal with an easy 4-0 victory against the lower ranked Egypt and took their tally to 14 points out of a maximum 14. Russia played out a draw with Ukraine and remained in second spot on 11 match points.

Georgia is now in joint third with Ukraine on 10 points, disposing the challenge of local girls 3.5-0.5. The Indian team has some outside chance of a podium finish for which they will need to win the remaining two matches against Hungary and Ukraine and then hope for some favourable results.

Results

Round 7 open: Azerbaijan (5) drew with India (10) (Arkadij Naiditsch drew with B Adhiban; Krishnan Sasikiran Gadir Guseinov; Safarli Eltaj drew with Surya Shekhar Ganguly; S P Sethurman drew with Nidjat Mamedom); China (8) beat Sweden (4) 2.5-1.5; England (11) beat Egypt (1) 2.5-1.5; Kazakhstan (4) lost to Iran (7) 1.5-2.5; USA (8) lost to Russia (12) 1.5-2.5.

Women: USA (5) lost to India (8) 0-4 (Tatev Abrahamyan lost to Eesha Karavade; Soumya Swaminathan beat Katerina Nemcova; Carissa Yip lost to Padmini Rout; Bhakti Kulkarni beat Sabina-Francesca Foisor); China (14) beat Egypt (0) 4-0; Ukraine (10) drew with Russia (11) 2-2; Hungary (2) Armenia (2) ; Georgia (10) beat Kazakhstan (6) 3.5-0.5.