Indian men win silver; bronze for women in Asian Nations Chess
Zaozhuang (China): Indian men`s team thrashed Iraq 4-0 to win silver while their women counterparts bagged a bronze in the Asian Nations Chess Cup that concluded here on Saturday.
Top rated K Sasikiran rested himself while P Harikrishna, Parimarjan Negi, Abhijeet Gupta and G N Gopal completed an easy victory to collect 15 points to finish second to top seed China-1.
China-1 beat Mongolia 3.5-0.5 to win the gold while China-2 won the Bronze medal.
In the women`s section, China-1 won the ninth match in a row to deservingly win the gold medal while China-2 won the silver ahead of India with better tie-break.
China-1 finished with 18 points while China-2 and India collected identical 14 points each. In the individual encounter, China-2 had beaten India in the first round itself and that had more game points to stake their claim for the silver.
The Indian women had to be content with the bronze medal after a 2.5-1.5 victory over China-3 in the final round. In the last three editions, the Indian women`s team had won the silver.
G N Gopal turned out to be the best Indian men performer as he continued his winning streak and won his fourth game in a row at the expense of Sabah Nori Rabeea.
National champion Abhijeet Gupta turned out to be the next best among Indians with six points out of a possible seven games that he played. In the last round, Zozek Salah Mohammed was no match for the Indian.
Recently crowned Asian champion Parimarjan Negi was not far behind and the silver medal winning performance by the Indians has, in fact, come because of his, Gupta and Gopal`s efforts. Negi finished with 6.5 points out of eight games winning the last round against Al-Ali Hussein.
Sasikiran, on the top board, was not in good form and is likely to lose important rating points from here. Sasikiran scored four points from his eight games while Harikrishna scored six from his nine including a first round walk over.
Among women, national woman champion Mary Ann Gomes and Padmini Rout excelled with five points apiece out of seven games while mainstay D Harika and Tania Sachdev scored 4.5 points from their eight games. Eesha Karavade was completely off colour and ended with a mere two points from six games.
The Indian team next plays in the Chess Olympiad and while the men`s team is likely to be the same, Koneru Humpy is expected to join the women`s team on the first board in which case Padmini Rout may be dropped.
With the inclusion of Humpy, the Indian women`s team can fancy their chances in the Olympiad. However, for that to happen, Harika, Tania and Eesha have to put in a lot more than they did here.
Complete Results Final Round (team points in bracket): China-1 (17) beat Mongolia (8) 3.5-0.5; Iraq (9) lost to India (15) 0-4; Chinese Taipei (0) lost to China-2 (13) 0-4; Hong Kong (2) lost to Vietnam (12) 0-4; Iran (11) beat Kazakhstan (9) 3.5-0.5; Yemen (5) lost to Singapore (10) 0.5-3.5; Korea (5) lost to Indonesia (10) 1-3.
Indian Results: Abdulwahhab Ahmed Abdulsattar lost to P Harikrishna; Parimarjan Negi beat Al-Ali Hussein; Zozek Salah Mohammed lost to Abhijeet Gupta; G N Gopal beat Sabah Nori Rabeea.
Women: Mongolia (3) lost to China-1 (18) 0.5-3.5; Indonesia (7) lost to Vietnam (8) 1.5-2.5; Iran (8) beat Kazakhstan (5) 3-1; Singapore (2) lost to China-2 (14) 0-4; India (14) beat China-3 (11) 2.5-1.5.
Indian Results: D Harika beat Zhai Mo; Ni Shiquin drew with Tania Sachdev; Mary Ann Gomes drew with Lei Tingjie; Li Xueyi drew with Padmini Rout.