Indian eves crush Vietnam to jump to joint second spot
Istanbul (Turkey): Former Asian queen Tania Sachdev continued with her dream run as Indian eves roared back to medal contention with an easy 2.5-1.5 triumph over Vietnam in the eighth round of the Women`s chess Olympiad here.
Tania scored her seventh victory in eight games, which currently stands amongst the best performances in the Olympiad. The Delhi-based worked hard with back-to-back training camps before coming to Istanbul and the result seems a just reward.
Thanks to another win, the Indian women now find themselves within striking distance of a medal.
The eves jumped to joint second spot after China defeated Poland by a 3-1 margin on the top board and reached 14 points out of a possible sixteen.
Indian team is sharing the second spot with Russia, France and Uzbekistan on 13 points each and a big test awaits the the ladies when they meet second seed Russia in the next round.
The Indians lost to China, conceded a lone draw to Serbia besides winning six matches so far.
On the top board, D Harika played out a draw with Pham Le Thao Nguyen after surviving a difficult position. On the second board, the form of Eesha Karavade remained a cause of concern for the Indians as she lost to Nguyen Thi Mai Hung.
Tania delivered the goods on the third board as black against Le Kieu Thien Kim, while national women`s champion Mary Ann Gomes chipped in by beating Pham Bich Ngoc on the fourth board to complete an Indian triumph.
With just three more rounds to go, the Indians would be hoping for a decent result tomorrow before they can put in their best effort in the last two rounds.
In the open section, the Indian men missed the thread once again and were held to a 2-2 draw by Serbia.
Often reliable, Krishnan Sasikiran lost on the top board and the efforts of G N Gopal on the fourth board only salvaged the day as Parimarjan Negi spoiled yet another good position.
On a day when National champion Abhijeet Gupta was rested, Sasikiran went down to Ivan Ivanesevic on the top board as white, which turned out to be the damper from Indian perspective.
P Harikrishna could do little and took a draw with Milos Perunovic on the second board and Parimarjan Negi was held to a draw by Nikola Sedlak who survived by the skin of his teeth.
All was left to Gopal, who had been playing the `reserved` in the last four matches, and the Kerala Grandmaster came up with his best to ensure that the hunt for a good finish did not end. At least not with three rounds remaining.
The Indian men are up against Georgia in the next round and nothing but a victory is needed for them to remain in the hunt.
Important results, Round eight open: Russia (15) beat Ukraine (12) 2.5-1.5; China (13) drew with Azerbaijan (12) 2-2; Armenia (3) beat Uzbekistan (11) 2.5-1.5; FYROM (11) lost to USA (13) 1-3; Germany (13) beat Hungary (11) 2.5-1.5; England (11) lost to Philippines (13) 1-3; France (12) beat Cuba (10) 2.5-1.5; India (11) drew with Serbia (11) 2-2 ( K Sasikiran lost to Ivan Ivanisevic; Milos Perunovic drew with P Harikrishna; Parimarjan Negi drew with Nikola Sedlak; Dusan Popovic lost to G N Gopal); Spain (10) lost to Israel (12) 0.5-3.5; Latvia (10) lost to Netherlands (12) 1-3; Romania (10) lost to Argentina (12) 1-3; Croatia (10) lost to Poland (12) 1.5-2.5.
Women: Poland (12) lost to China (14) 1-3; Russia (13) drew with Ukraine (11) 2-2; France (13) beat Spain (11) 3-1; Uzbekistan (13) beat Hungary (11) 2.5-1.5; Vietnam (11) lost to India (13) 1.5-2.5 (Pham Le Thao Nguyen drew with D Harika; Eesha Karavade lost to Nguyen Thi Mai Hung; Le Kieu Thien Kim lost to Tania Sachdev; Mary Ann Gomes beat Pham Bich Ngoc); Serbia (11) drew with Georgia (11) 2-2; Philippines (10) lost to USA (12) 0.5-3.5; Armenia (12) beat Romania (10) 3-1; Bulgaria (12) beat Czech Republic (10) 2.5-1.5; Switzerland (10) lost to Kazakhstan (12) 1-3.