Winning start for Indian chess teams at Olympiad

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2010, 09:18 AM IST

Russia: Indian men and women`s teams opened the 2010 Chess Olympiad in this Russian city with the maximum results possible registering wipe-put wins in their first rounds.

The men`s team saw all four Indian players register fluent wins over their Welsh rivals. Krishnan Sasikiran (2681) beat Richard Jones, Pentala Harikrishna (2645) defeated Tim Kett, G.N. Gopal beat (2603) beat Alan Bennett and Baskaran Adhiban (2516) defeated Iolo C. Jones.

In the women`s section India beat Albania by a similar 4-0 margin. Dronavalli Harika (2515) overcame Shabanaj Eglantina on top board, while Tania Sachdev (2382) defeated Alda Shabanaj, Eesha Karavade (2365) beat Rozana Cimaj and Subbaraman Meenakshi trounced Roela Pasku.

In a strange situation Russia is fielding five men`s team and three in women. Some teams are believed to have complained about so many Russian teams.

The other first round matches also saw the strong versus the weak in normal Swiss System style, leaving maximum room for the unexpected to happen. Overall, the favorites did what was expected, winning by crushing scores as they outrated their opponents.

A few unexpected results did occur such as Alexander Grischuk`s draw on board one for Russia against Ireland`s IM Sam Collins, or Hungary`s Balogh (2608) who drew against Jordan`s Samhouri (2269). However the biggest first-round upset was handed to reigning Dutch champion Jan Smeets (2669), who lost to IM Lisandro Munoz (2391), leading to only the narrowest of victories by the Netherlands, with a 2.5-1.5 win over the Dominican Republic.

G.M. Judit Polgar (2682), playing third board for Hungary, and quite inactive over the last year and a half in classical games, reminded us why she is the top female player in history when she beat Jordan`s Ahmad Fawzi Samhouri (2372).

IANS