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India in lead in Asian team chess
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December 22, 2005 17:57 IST

Indian men started off with a 3.5-0.5 victory over Afghanistan and emerged sole leaders after the first round of the Asian team chess championship that got underway in Isfahan, Iran on Thursday.

With a depleted field in absence of defending champion China, the Asian team championship just has six teams competing this year including two from the host country.

The other participants are Turkmenistan and Vietnam apart from India and Afghanistan.

The Indians are led by Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran on the top board.

IM Sundar Rajan Kidambi dropped half point on the third board against unrated Farazi Khaiber but the other members GMs Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Abhijit Kunte and Sandipan Chanda coasted to easy victories to help India emerge as sole leader with 3.5 points.

On other boards, Turkmenistan and Iran 'B' took a point each from second seed Vietnam and third seed Iran 'A' respectively.

Sasikiran was rested in the first round game and Abhijit Kunte took board one for India to crush Asefi Zaheeruddeen of Afghanistan.

It was a similar story for National Champion Ganguly and Chanda who both outclassed Fidaeyee Habibullah and Sarway Hamidullah respectively.

Women's championship was hit even worse as there are only four teams in the fray including two from Iran. Apart from the Indian eves, only Vietnam has fielded the women team.

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