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Chess Olympiad: Indian women rise to third place

November 21, 2008 17:25 IST

On a mixed day for India at the 32nd Chess Olympiad, the women's team defeated Bulgaria to move up to joint-third place while the men slipped to tied 10th after losing to France [Images] in the seventh round.

Asian women's champion Tania Sachdev and Asian junior girls' winner Mary Ann Gomes helped the Indian women to a 2.5-1.5 victory over Bulgaria.

Tania atoned for her loss in the previous round and humbled Emilia Dzingarova of Bulgaria on the second board.

D Harika held former women's World champion Antoaneta Stefanova on the top board and Swati Ghate's defeat on the third board to Margarita Voiska did not deter the Indians much, as Mary Ann continued on her dream run to beat Raeva Elitsa on the fourth board.

The victory helped the Indian women climb to joint-third spot with 11 points. They meet Serbia in the next round.

China were held by the United States but still lead the women's section with 13 points.

Ukraine follow next on 12 points while the United States, Poland, Hungary, Russia [Images], Serbia and India are next in line.

The Indian men went down 1.5-2.5 to France after Grandmaster P Harikrishna could not survive the onslaught of young Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

On the top board, GM Krishnan Sasikiran played out a draw with Etienne Bacrot while on the third and fourth tables Surya Shekhar Ganguly and GN Gopal carved out similar results against Laurent Fressinet and Vladislav Tkachiev.

The defeat saw the men slip to tied 10th with 10 points. The lead in the open section was grabbed by Armenia who defeated top-seeded Russia 2.5-1.5 and moved to 13 points.

France, Israel and Germany [Images] '1' share the second spot on 12 points each.

Tania played the white side of a Grunfeld defence and displayed a fine positional sense to get the better of Emilia.

The opening saw Tania coming out with a slight advantage and her manoeuvring was spot on in the middle game. The game lasted 60 moves.

Mary Ann employed the Reti Opening to beat Raeva, who apparently ran out of steam. Getting a slight advantage in the middle game, Mary Ann invaded the king side and romped home in 43 moves.

P Harikrishna was outdone by Vachier-Lagrave in a Ruy Lopez game where the Indian played black. Getting what appeared as a level position, Harikrishna lost the momentum and went down after a long fight.

Important Round VII results (Match points in paranthesis):

Men: Armenia (13) bt Russia (11) 2.5-1.5; Germany '1' (12) bt Romania (10) 2.5-1.5; China (11) drew with Ukraine (11) 2-2; India (10) lost to France (12) 1.5-2.5 (Krishnan Sasikiran drew with Etienne Bacrot, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave bt P Harikrishna, Surya Shekhar Ganguly drew with Laurent Fressinet, Vladislav Tkachiev drew with GN Gopal); Israel (12) bt Spain (10) 3-1; United States of America (11) bt Hungary (9) 2.5-1.5; England [Images] (10) drew with Azerbaijan (10) 2-2; Greece (10) drew with Belarus (10) 2-2; Vietnam (11) bt Netherlands (9) 2.5-1.5; Bulgaria (10) bt Australia [Images] (8) 4-0.

Women: China (13) drew with United States of America (11) 2-2; Russia (11) drew with Poland (11) 2-2; Netherlands (10) lost to Ukraine (12) 0.5-3.5; Hungary (11) bt Mongolia (9) 3-1; Bulgaria (9) lost to India (11) 1.5-2.5 (Antoaneta Stefanova drew with D Harika; Tania Sachdev bt Emilia Djingarova, Margarita Voiska bt Swathi Ghate; Mary Ann Gomes bt Raeva Elitsa); Serbia (11) bt Vietnam (9) 3.5-0.5; France (10) bt Kazakhstan (8) 3.5-0.5; Cuba (8) lost to Moldova (10) 1.5-2.5; Georgia (10) bt Spain (8) 4-0; Ecuador (10) bt England (8) 2.5-1.5.

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