The Indian men's and women's teams cruised to identical 4-0 victories over Wales and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia respectively in the first round of the 40th Chess Olympiad at the Wow Hotel and Convention centre in Istanbul.
The Indian think-tank rested mainstay Sasikiran and P Harikrishna, but Parimarjan Negi, Abhijeet Gupta and G N Gopal delivered the goods on all boards against Wales' counterparts Richard Jones lost, Tim Kett, Richard Dineley and Lolo Jones respectively.
In the women's event being held simultaneously, the Indians made a similar sweep against different rivals.
Playing black, D Harika did not give many chances to Bojana Bejatovic on the top board while on the second, Eesha Karavade had it easy against Monika Stojkovska.
Former Asian champion Tania Sachdev also stood her ground against Dragana Nikolovska while on the fourth board Soumya Swaminathan completed the rout outclassing Simona Lakinska.
There were no major surprises as all top teams notched a maximum of two match points out of the first round.
However, there were individual casualties which are common in the opening round. Top seeds Russia [ Images ] dropped half a point when Evgeny Tomashevsky could not beat William Puntier of Dominican Republic and the highest-ranked had to be content with a 3.5-0.5 victory in the first round.
Surprisingly, third seed Armenia conceded a full point before settling for a 3-1 victory against Bolivia. Oswaldo Zambrana caused the biggest upset in the first round itself, defeating Sergei Movsesian, who donned the top board for Armenia as world number two Levon Aronian rested himself.
In another stellar performance, Malaysia took off 1.5 points from the fancied Holland.
Syria caused the biggest upset in team results defeating Roumania by a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin. In another upset, Slovenia lost to Jamaica by a similar margin.
The women's event did not have any major upsets. The Armenian eves lost a game before posting a 3-1 victory against Jordan while Hungary dropped just half a point to beat Syria by a 3.5-0.5 margin.
Fourth seed Ukraine also dropped half a point en route to a 3.5-0.5 win against El Salvador. The favourites here, China, Russia and Georgia romped home with full points without much ado.
The Chess Olympiad is the biggest chess spectacle with the presence of 158 nations this year. The team positions are determined through match points.
For every win a team is awarded two points while a draw fetches a one point split between two teams. There are 11 rounds in all to determine the winner.
Important and Indian results (Round 1):
Dominican Republic lost to Russia 0.5-3.5; Ukraine beat Iraq 4-0; Bolivia lost to Armenia 1-3; Hungary beat Kyrgyzstan 3-1; Jordan lost to United States Of America 0-4; Luxembourg lost to Azerbaijan 0-4; France [ Images ] beat Zimbabwe 4-0; Malaysia lost to Netherlands 1.5-2.5; Andorra lost to England [ Images ] 0-4; Wales lost to India [ Images ] 0-4 ( Richard Joneslost to P Harikrishna; Parimarjan Negi beat Tim Kett; Richard Dineley lost to Abhijit Gupta; G N Gopal beat Lolo Jones).
Women: China beat Bangladesh 4-0; Bolivia lost to Russia 0-4; Georgia beat Guatemala 4-0; El Salvador lost to Ukraine 0.5-3.5; United States of America beat New Zealand [ Images ] 4-0; FYROM lost to India 0-4 (Bojana Bejatovic lost to D Harika; Eesha Karavade beat Monika Stojkovska; Dragana Nikolovska lost to Tania Sachdev; Soumya Swaminathan beat Simona Lakinska; Poland beat Dominican Republic 4-0; Jordan lost to Armenia 1-3; Spain beat Egypt [ Images ] 3-1; Syria lost to Hungary 0.5-3.5.