Bursa (Turkey): Led by Krishnan Sasikiran on
the top board, India defeated formidable Azerbaijan 2.5-1.5 in
the third round of the World Team Chess Championship to emerge
as joint leader in the elite event here today.
Sasikiran defeated Vugar Gashimov, one of the most
impressive players of 2009, while Surya Shekhar Ganguly
outplayed Gadir Guseinov on the third board to ensure the
Indian victory despite G N Gopal`s defeat on the fourth board
against twice world junior champion Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
On the second board, P Harikrishna survived a real scare
but eventually his tricky play helped salvage a draw against
highly regarded Teimour Radjabov.
With six rounds still to come in this 10-teams round
robin event, Armenia, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, USA and
India share the lead with four match points each.
Greece, Brazil, and Egypt have one win and two losses
each and share seventh-ninth position on two match points
while hosts Turkey is trailing last with no match points
Pitted against the second highest rated player of the
event in Gashimov, Sasikiran went for an ultra sharp variation
in the Nimzo Indian defense with white pieces and got the
reward when Gashimov entered a worse endgame.
Sasikiran was a delight to watch in the rest of the game,
displaying his technical prowess. On the second board,
Harikrishna faced a relatively less explored variation in the
Slav defense against Radjabov who played white.
The latter apparently had a great advantage and even an
extra pawn at one point in thegame but Harikrishna recovered
in the final stages to get a crucial half point.
Ganguly was in his elements on the third board. Playing
white, the Indian faced the Sicilian Accelerated Dragon and
got a tiny advantage in the ensuing middle game.
The exchange of pieces at regular intervals did not deter
Ganguly as he slowly increased his advantage in the heavy
pieces endgame and romped home in style.
Gopal was outdone with black pieces against Mamedyarov.
Russia defeated USA team 3-1 to join the leader board.
Vladimir Malakhov and Nikita Vituigov delivered the goods for
the Russians on the last two boards defeating Yuri Shulman and
Varuzhan Akobian respectively.
On the top boards Alexander Grischuk played out a draw
with Hikaru Nakamura and on the second Alexander Morozevich
signed peace with Alexander Onischuk.
This was a good come back by Russia after they lost to
Greece in the second round.
In other matches of the day, Armenia had it easy against
Turkey conceding just one draw in a 3.5-0.5 victory, Egypt
defeated Greece 2.5-1.5 and opened their account while Israel
cruised past Brazil 2.5-1.5.