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Chess Olympiad: Indian women win; men held by Argentina

Last updated on: September 05, 2012 08:25 IST

International Master Tania Sachdev registered her sixth victory in seven games as the Indian women's team cruised to a 3-1 victory over lower-ranked Estonia to take the joint-fourth spot after the seventh round in the 40th Chess Olympiad in Istanbul.

After a setback against her Chinese counterpart in Round 5, the Delhi-based player has scored two back-to-back victories and looks good for more.

The victory was a boon for the Indian girls, though the margin could have been better.

Up against a lower-ranked team, they conceded a full point on the fourth board as Soumya Swaminathan continued her rollercoaster ride.

D Harika defeated Monika Tsiganova on the top board while Mary Ann Gomes had it easy against Triin Narva on the third board. Tania won against Tatjana Fomina, but Regina Narva saved some honour for her team at the expense of Soumya.

China joined overnight leaders Russia and Poland in the lead after the latter two could not break the ice and settled for a 2-2 draw sharing a victory each.

China won against Armenia by a minimal margin, making it a three-way tie at the top with just four rounds to go.

The Indian women elevated themselves to joint-fourth spot on 11 points -- a place they now share with Spain, France, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Hungary and Vietnam.

In the next round India meets Vietnam.

The Indian men could not find a winning combination for the third day running even as they again fielded the top four against Argentina.

Luck saved them the day as Abhijeet Gupta came back from the jaws of defeat and turned tables on Sandro Mareco on the fourth board.

Earlier in the day, Krishnan Sasikiran played out a draw with Fernando Peralta on the top board while Harikrishna attained the same result as black against Diego Flores.

Disaster struck the team on board three as Parimarjan Negi lost and Gupta in the end turned lucky to salvage a half point for his team.

The Russian men took the sole lead in the Open section, defeating Azerbaijan in an important encounter and now look a strong contender to regain the gold medal.

Alexander Grischuk won it for Russia on board two, defeating talented Safarli Eltaj while the other games ended in draws.

With Russia, on 13 points, Ukraine and China are in close pursuit, just a point behind. There are nine teams following on with 11 points apiece.

The Indian men now share 13th place with 10 points.

The business end of the medal race now begins in the biggest chess spectacle. The Indian women are in with a chance if they can sustain the momentum. The men will need to score heavily to come within a striking distance.

Important results (Round 7 Open): Azerbaijan (11) lost to Russia (13); China (12) beat Armenia (11) 2.5-1.5; Philippines (11) drew with Hungary (11) 2-2; Ukraine (12) beat Spain (10) 2.5-1.5; Moldova (9) lost to Germany (11) 1.5-2.5; Argentina (10) drew with India (10) Fernando Peralta drew with K Sasikiran; P Harikrishna drew with Diego Flores; Ruben Felgaer beat Parimarjan Negi; Abhijeet Gupta beat Sandro Mareco; USA (11) beat Turkey (9) 3.5-0.5; Israel (10) drew with France (10) 2-2; Georgia (9) lost to England (11) 1.5-2.5; Mexico (9) lost to Uzbekistan (11) 1-3; Italy (9) lost to FYROM (11) 1.5-2.5; Croatia (10) drew with Greece (9) 2-2.

Women: Russia (12) drew with Poland (12) 2-2; Georgia (10) lost to China (12) 1.5-2.5; Ukraine (11) drew with France (11) 2-2; Serbia (10) drew with Vietnam (11) 2-2; Hungary (11) beat Montenegro (9) 2.5-1.5; Spain (11) beat Greece (9) 2.5-1.5; Estonia (9) lost to India (11) 1-3 (Monika Tsiganova lost to D Harika; Tania Sachdev beat Tatjana Fomina; Triin Narva lost to Mary Ann Gomes; Soumya Swaminathan lost to Regina Narva); Uzbekistan (11) beat Peru (9) 2.5-1.5; Slovakia (9) lost to Iran (10) 0.5-3.5; USA (10) beat Belgium (8) 4-0.

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