World teams chess: Indian men hold China

Top-seeded Russian women secured a 3.5-0.5 victory over the Indian women.

B. Adhiban drew with Chinese Ding Liren on Friday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

The Indian men stayed afloat in the World Team Chess Championship by holding defending champion China to a 2-2 draw here on Friday.

After the end of the fourth round, Indian men are placed joint second in the standings.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly provided the breakthrough for the Indians with some amazing performance with black pieces against Taimanov Sicilain, while youngster Aravindh Chithambaram could not tackle experienced Bu Xiangzhi.

Krishnan Sasikiran and S. P. Sethuraman then played out quiet draws.

Another excellent result by a depleted Indian team means it will remain in the thick of things with five rounds still to come in the premier team event of the world.

The Russian men took it easy in the round settling for draws on all four boards with England and thereby taking their tally up to seven points out of a possible eight. United States was held to a draw by local favourite Kazakhstan and India, England and USA now share the second spot on six points apiece.

One of the fancied teams at the start, Azerbaijan seems to have run out of steam as it suffered another jolt at the hands of Sweden.

In the women’s championship being held simultaneously, the Indians suffered a setback in their quest as they were mowed 0.5-3.5 by top-seeded Russian women. Soumya Swaminathan was the only player who could hold a draw on the second board against Alexandra Kosteniuk while Eesha Karavade, on the top board, lost to Katerya Lagno.

Tania Sachdev could not match Alexandra Goryachkina and Olga Girya proved too strong for Bhakti Kulkarni.

The Indian women will have to do a lot of hard work to come back in the remaining rounds but a medal seems to be on the roll for the Indian men if they can tackle the tougher games ahead.

Results after Round 4 Open: India (6) drew with China (3) (B Adhiban drew with Ding Liren; Yu Yangyi lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly; S P Sethuraman drew with Wei Yi; Bu Xiangzhi beat Aravindh Chithambaram) Sweden (2) beat Azerbaijan (1) 3-1; USA (6) drew with Kazakhstan (4); Russia (7) drew with vs England (6) 2-2; Iran (5) beat Egypt (0) 3-1

Women: Russia (8) beat India (4) 3.5-0.5 (Kateryna Lagno beat Eesha Karavade; Soumya Swaminathan drew with Alexandra Kosteniuk; Aleksandra Goryachkina beat Tania Sachdev; Bhakti Kulkarni lost to Olga Girya); Egypt (0) lost to Hungary (2) 1.5-2.5; Kazakhstan (3) beat USA (3) 2.5-1.5; Armenia (2) lost to China (8) 1.5-2.5; Georgia (4) drew with Ukraine (6) 2-2