Tromso, Norway: Indian men`s team put up a splendid show holding defending champions Armenia to a draw on all boards in the eighth round of the ongoing 41st Chess Olympiad to remain seventh in the leader board.
India men are currently placed seventh with 12 points in their kitty.
GM Parimarjan Negi showed the way as he played out a chanceless draw with World No 3 Levon Aronian on the top board while the trio of GM SP Sethuraman, GM Krishnan Sasikiran and GM B Adhiban followed suit almost shutting the door on Armenia`s title defence with only three rounds left.
GM Sethuraman had something to worry about on the second board but once he held his position together against Gabriel Sargissian there was not much risk for the Indian men.
GM Sasikiran played out a solid game to to hold Sergei Movsesian while Adhiban gave little away before signing peace with Vladimir Akopian.
Chinese men defeated overnight leaders Azerbaijan to take over the lead on 14 points with three rounds still remaining in this biggest chess spectacle.
Five teams, Ukraine, France, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan and Romania are breathing down the neck of the new leaders on 13 points each while the Indian are seventh in the list.
In the next round, the men are paired against Argentina and have higher rating on all four boards. A victory can take them closer to the top.
There was more good news for the Indian contingent as the Indian eves handed a 3-1 drubbing to Indonesia with Mary Ann Gomes and Padmini Rout coming good on the last two boards.
The strategy was well implemented as D Harika drew with top Indonesian Irine Sukandar Kharisma on the top board while Tania Sachdev played it safe and split the point with Medina Warda Aulia on the second.
Much was expected from Mary Ann Gomes and she outplayed Chelsie Monica Ignesias Sihite while Padmini Rout continued to be the Indian mainstay accounting for Ummi Fisabilillah.
The Russian eves meanwhile remained at the top of their game to beat Hungary 3.5-0.5 on the top board keeping their 100 percent win record intact.
While it doesn`t look like anyone stopping them and China from taking the top two spots as the later are two points behind but a full point clear of the nearest rivals.
With 12 points in their bag, the fifth seed Indian women are back to joint sixth place and currently enjoy the best tie-break among fellow pointers. What they need to stay afloat is a good result against third seed Ukraine in the next round.
Indian results: (Men) Parimarjan Negi drew with Levon Aronian; Gabriel Sargissian drew with S P Sethuraman; Krishnan Sasikiran drew with Sergei Movsesian; Vladimir Akopian drew with B Adhiban.
Women: D Harika drew Irine Sukandar Kharisma; Medina Warda Aulia drew with Tania Sachdev; Mary Ann Gomes beat Chelsie Monica Ignesias Sihite; Padmini Rout beat Ummi Fisabilillah.