India get past Greece on the back of Harika`s victory

Mardin (Turkey): Grand Master D Harika scored the only win of the day for the side as India edged past Greece 2.5-1.5 in the seventh round to stay in medal contention in the World women team chess championship in Mardin.

Harika defeated Marina Makropoulou while Koneru Humpy, Tania Sachdev and Padmini Rout all settled for draws.

On the top board for India, Grand Master Humpy in fact stood slightly worse against top Greek Yelina Dembo and on the other boards the forms of the Indians was found wanting as both Tania and Padmini failed to make the most of their positions against lower ranked opponents.

China remained in sole lead on 14 points from seven matches defeating Georgia by a 3-1 margin. Yifan Hou and Zhao Xue paved the way for another victory with fine performance on the first and third boards as white while the black games ended in draws to keep the team way high in the standings.

Russia scored a 3-1 victory over hosts Turkey losing on the second board when Tatiana Kosintseva made a vital mistake against Kubra Ozturk while winning the remaining games. In other matches of the day, Vietnam blanked South Africa 4-0 while Armenia went down 1.5-2.5 to Ukraine.

With just two matches to come, the battle for the medal is heating up. While China seems to be out of reach of everyone, the fight now remains for the silver and bronze medal for which India still remains a strong contender.

With China on 14, Indians hold the sole second spot on 11 match points and they currently enjoy a full point lead over Russia.

Ukraine, Vietnam and Georgia share the fourth spot on eight points each while Armenia is now out of contention on just six points. Turkey Greece and South Africa fill up the last three spots.

Indians have a tough draw in last two rounds when they meet Georgia and China. Ideally, one draw against these two should be enough for a medal.

Harika was the pick amongst Indians with white pieces. The English opening by the Indian gave her an opening advantage and Marina erred further in the middle game by giving two minor pieces for a rook. Showing precise technique, Harika wrapped the issue in 45 moves.

Humpy could not do much in a Ruy Lopez against Yelena Dembo who played white. Getting in to a slightly worse middle game the world number two decided to play it safe and drew in 25 moves.

Tania Sachdev was caught unawares in a Sicilian and decided to take a draw with Ekaterini Fakhiridou while Padmini Rout also signed peace with Ekaterini Pavlidou.


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