Khanty Mansiysk (Russia): Grandmaster
Krishnan Sasikiran displayed his top form to help India beat
Colombia with a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin in the third round of
the 29th Chess Olympiad here.
Sasikiran defeated Alexander Curartas Medina Jaime from
the white side of an exciting game while the other bigwigs of
the Indian team P Harikrishna and Surya Shekhar Ganguly were
held to draws by much lower rated opponents. On the fourth
board, B Adhiban was held to a draw but that was enough for an
The Indian eves also continued with their victory march
and defeated Moldova 3-1 in a keenly contested match. D Harika
and Nisha Mohota were held to draws but in form Eesha Karavade
and S Meenakshi scored wins in contrasting fashion to ensure
country`s third win from as many matches.
It was almost the last round when the favourites clashed
with lesser teams and from the next round onwards things are
only going to heat up. The Indian men will meet their first
major challenge against Russia two in the next round while the
eves will take on Bulgaria.
The upset galore however continued although there were no
major debacles. Croatia that had dumped Bulgaria in the
previous round continued with their excellent run and ended up
in a tied contest with Ukraine, one of the favourites for the
Minus Vassily Ivanchuk, the Ukrainians lacked sting and a
victory by Zahar Efimenkov was not enough when Croatian Palac
stunned Alexander Moiseenko on the fourth board. The other two
games were drawn.
In other notable results, Poland played out a draw with
Bosnia and Herzegovina while Georgia scored a nerve-wrecking
2.5-1.5 victory over Mexico despite their star performer
Baadur Jobava`s loss against Manuel Leon Hoyos.
In the women`s section, Russia played out draws on all
boards against Germany. Rating favourites Russia however
cruised to an emphatic 3.5-0.5 victory over Slovakia.
The form of Harikrishna might be a worrying factor for
team India as the stalwart continued to struggle in his second
outing in the Olympiad too. Alder Escobar Forero turned out to
be a tough nut to crack as Harikrishna found from a Caro Kann
defense game. The middle game was evenly poised and timely
exchanges gave Forero an easy draw in the endgame.
Sasikiran, on the other hand, was precise in his
calculation in a wild game arising out of a Queen pawn game
and his perseverance paid off in form of a tactical shot that
resulted in a winning endgame.
Ganguly could not do much with his white pieces while
Adhiban was saddled with a passive position before his game