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World Team Chess: Harikrishna earns India victory

July 20, 2011 19:36 IST

Grandmaster and Asian champion P Harikrishna proved his mettle by outclassing Emil Sutovsky and guiding India to a much-needed 2.5-1.5 victory over Israel in the fourth round of the World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo, China, on Wednesday.

After a sedate start with three draws on the trot, Harikrishna reserved his best for the match against Israel as he came up with a stupendous effort in a seemingly drawn endgame.

The Indians drew the remaining three boards to register their first victory in world's premier team event.

Krishnan Sasikiran also raised visions of victory on the second board against Michael Roiz but this one was drawn.

After two successive losses, Surya Shekhar Ganguly held on to his own against Ilya Smirin on the third, while a marathon game between G N Gopal and Tamir Nabaty also ended in a draw after 118 moves.

Meanwhile, at the top of the table, Azerbaijan caused the biggest flutter in the tournament, defeating holders Russia by a 3-1 margin.

It turned out to be a comprehensive victory a for Azerbaijan as they won with white pieces and drew as black on both the boards.

The victories were achieved by Vugar Gashimov, who scored over Alexander Grischuk, and Gadir Guseinov, who got the better of Peter Svidler. Ian Nepomniachtchi drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Russia's loss turned out to be Armenia's gain after they effortlessly drubbed Egypt 3.5-0.5 to take their tally to six points out of a possible eight.

Russia slipped to joint second spot on five points and they now share it with Azerbaijan, China and Hungary.

Ukraine and Israel share the sixth spot on four points apiece while India inched up to joint-eighth along with the United States on three points.

Egypt, without a score, remains last.

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