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Chess Olympiad: Indian teams up

November 24, 2008 19:37 IST

The Indian men's and women's teams registered identical 3-1 victories over Czech Republic and Slovenia respectively, in the 10th and penultimate round of the 32nd Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany, on Monday.

The women's team, with 14 points, improved to joint-seventh while the men's team moved to joint-ninth place.

In the absence of Koneru Humpy, this is turning out to be an excellent campaign for the women's team, which will face higher-ranked Armenia in the final round.

Swati Ghate and Mary Ann Gomes won their respective matches after D Harika and Tania Sachdev played out draws on the top two boards.

In the men's section, national champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly and GN Gopal came good in the last two boards while Krishnan Sasikiran and P Harikrishna were held on the top boards.

Meanwhile, there was another twist at the top of the men's section with Ukraine defeating overnight leaders Israel 2.5-1.5 to emerge joint leader with Armenia on 17 points.

With just one more round to go, Israel and China are now joint-third on 16 points while there's a four-way tie for the fifth spot that includes Russia.

Upsets continued to rule the women's event and Poland emerged new sole leaders on 17 points after a clinical 2.5-1.5 victory over Armenia.

The fancied Chinese went down to Georgia 1.5-2.5 in a close contest and bowed out of medal contention.

Serbia and Ukraine share the second spot on 16 points each while Russia and the USA are still in the hunt for a podium finish with 15 points each.

The Indian men's team faced a resolute opponent in Czech Republic. Sasikiran was forced to a draw by Navara David on the top board with black pieces.

On the second table, Zbynek Hracek held Harikrishna, who played white, and it was left to Ganguly and Gopal to deliver the goods on the lower boards.

Ganguly accounted for the young GM Viktor Laznicka while Gopal proved too good for Jiri Stocek.

The women's team too faced initial challenge after Harika was held by Slovenia's top-rated played Anna Muzychuk and Tania could do little against Jana Krivec in the second board.

However, on the lower boards it was a different story as Swati defeated Ana Srebrnic who played white and Mary Ann used her white pieces to excellent effect and outwitted Ksenija Novak.

Important Round 10 results (match points in parenthesis)

Men: Ukraine (17) bt Israel (16) 2.5-1.5; Serbia (14) lost to Armenia (17) 1-3; England (14) lost to China (16) 1.5-2.5; Slovenia (13) lost to Russia (15) 0.5-3.5; Spain (15) bt Bulgaria (13) 3-1; Netherlands (15) bt Poland (13) 2.5-1.5; Slovakia (13) lost to France (15) 1-3; Georgia (14) bt Denmark (12) 2.5-1.5; Hungary (14) bt Switzerland (12) 3-1; Azerbaijan (14) bt Egypt (12) 4-0; Czech Republic (11) lost to India (13) 1-3 (Navara David drew with Krishnan Sasikiran, P Harikrishna drew with Zbynek Hracek, Viktor Laznicka lost to Surya Shekhar Ganguly, GN Gopal bt Jiri Stocek).

Women: Serbia (16) drew with Ukraine (16); Armenia (14) lost to Poland (17) 1.5-2.5; China (14) lost to Georgia (15) 1.5-2.5;  Uzbekistan (13) lost to USA (15) 0.5-3.5; Russia (15) bt Hungary (13) 3-1; France (14) bt Azerbaijan (12) 3-1; Slovenia (12) lost to India (14) 1-3 (Anna Muzychuk drew with D Harika, Tania Sachdev drew with Jana Krivec, Ana Srebrnic lost to Swathi Ghate, Mary Ann Gomes bt Ksenija Novak); Slovakia (12) lost to Netherlands (14) 1.5-2.5; Romania (14) bt Cuba (12) 2.5-1.5; Greece (13) bt Bosnia & Herzegovina (11) 3.5-0.5.

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