Khanty Mansiysk (Russia): Indian eves
returned to winning ways defeating Cuba, while their male
counterparts suffered a 1-3 loss to Polland in the ninth round
of the 39th Chess Olympiad here.
Eesha Karavade provided the vital victory on board three
when Eesha Karavade defeated Oleiny Linares Napoles to give
India the vital 2.5-1.5 victory.
Having lost to Russia in the previous round when they
were routed 3.5-0.5, the eves bounced back against Cuba
despite resting their top star D Harika.
The other three boards were drawn.
Russia I virtually assured themselves a gold medal with
their ninth victory on the trot to take their points tally to
an unassailable 18.
The 100 per cent winning record thus has given the
Russian women a huge four points lead over the nearest rivals,
China, Ukraine, Georgia, India and Bulgaria who all share the
second spot on 14 points each.
With just two rounds to go in the Olympiad, the Indian
team faces China in what could be the deciding barrier between
them and a possible medal.
The absence of Koneru Humpy further will compound India`s
The result against Cuba could have been different but for
Tania Sachdev who faught back from an inferior position to
hold her fort against Lisandra Teresa Ordaz Valdes.
"At some point, I might even have been better but looking
at a bad position for such a long time I am happy with the
result, especially as our team won and our medal hopes are
alive," said Tania after the game.
On the other two boards, Yaniet Marrero Lopez drew with S
Meenakshi, while Nisha Mohota did not push too hard against
Maritza Arribas Robaina to ensure an Indian victory.
Meanwhile, in the open section the Indian team lost out
on medal hopes after they were outskilled by Poland 1-3.
Surya Sekhar Ganguly`s poor form was a major blow for the
Indian results as he succumbed to his third loss in a row.
In the ninth round game, Ganguly went down to Miton Kamil
while Mateusz Bartel defeated B Adhiban on the fourth board.
On the remaining two boards, Krishnan Sasikiran played
out a draw with Radoslav Wojtaszek while P Harikrishna got the
same result against Bartosz Socko.
The loss left Indian men on 11 points and they might
finish in top ten with two wins in the last two rounds.
Ukraine remained atop the tables in what is seen as an
extremely well-contested open section.
With 16 points in their bag, the Ukrainians are followed
by Russia I and France who both have 15 points each.
Azerbaijan lost to Ukraine 1.5-2.5 losing on the last two
The way things have been going for Ukraine, they look
like the team to beat and France may fancy their chances in
the penultimate round.