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Anand leads India to a big win

Last updated on: October 17, 2004 13:41 IST

World Rapid champion Viswanathan Anand clocked a swift and convincing win over Alejandro Ramirez of Costa Rica as he led India to a massive 3.5-0.5 win over Costa Rica in the second round of the 36th Chess Olympiad at Gran Casino in Mallorca, Spain. India won three of the four games and one game, by Surya Sekhar Ganguly, was drawn.

In the women's section, Grandmaster Koneru Humpy and Women Grandmaster Nisha Mohota scored their second straight victories over Cuban opponents and guided the Indian team to another 2.5-0.5 triumph in the second round of the women's section.

Anand who is playing in his first Chess Olympiad since 1992, was in good form and outplayed Ramirez, who is rated 262 elo points lower than the Indian who is the highest rated player at this Olympiad.

In the second match, Krishnan Sasikiran beat Bernal Gonzalez, while Pentyala Harikrishna defeated Leonardo Valdes. National champion Ganguly was unable to complete a sweep for India, as he was held to a draw by lowly rated Francisco Hernandez, who is rated only 2283 as against Ganguly's 2559.

Indian men with six points will next clash with the Philippines, who have 6.5 points. Philippines were ranked 40th before the tournament, while India are fifth seeds. The Indian women with five points will meet a strong team from Bulgaria in the third round. India are sixth seeds, while Bulgaria started the tournament at ninth seeds.

Koneru Humpy gave the team a fine start as she outplayed Maritza Arribas with black pieces. On the second board for India, teenager Dronavalli Harika opened her Olympiad score after settling for a draw with Marrero Yaniet while Nisha Mohota played well to beat Vivian Ramon on the third board.

After the second round in men's section only two teams lead the men's standings with maximum possible eight points. They are second seeds Ukraine who beat Spain 'B' 4-0, and the Czech Republic, who beat Bangladesh by the same result.

Several teams share the third place with 7.5 out of 8. The strong Israel team defeated Australia 3.5-0.5 with only Grandmaster Ian Rogers drawing with GM Sutovsky. Also with 7.5 are Serbia, Slovakia, Canada and Bulgaria.

Favourites Russia scored a 3-1 win over Switzerland. In this match GM Alexander Morozevich won quickly against GM Viktor Korchnoi after a big mistake by the Swiss player. Russia now have 6.5 points.

In the women's section India now has five points out of a maximum of six, while Germany, Kazakhstan and Latvia emerged as joint leaders with six points from as many games. The tournament is a 14-round event played under FIDE's Swiss rules. Six other teams have including top seed China, Netherlands, Vietnam, Slovenia, Sweden and Russia share the next spot in the standing list with 5.5 points apiece.