Chennai: Top seeds Russia overcame 13th seed Slovakia shedding half a point in the top board in the first round of the TATA 14th IBCA Chess Olympiad for the Blind. India which fielded two teams had a mixed day.
Higher seeded teams went through the first round without any fuss.
Russian International Master Yuri Meshkov was held to a draw with boards two, three and four fetching them full points. Russia, along with Poland, Spain, Ukraine, Serbia, Romania, Slovenia, India `A`, United Kingdom and Columbia lead with two match points.
India `A` team, seeded ninth, defeated France 3-1 where Swapnil Shah lost on the top board while India `B` went down to Serbia 1-3 with two draws on the first and the third boards. Darshan Patel and Gaurav Gadodia lost on the second and fourth boards with black pieces.
Earlier, the Olympiad, organised by the All India Chess Federation for the blind, was off to a colourful start at the plush Hotel Le Royal Meridien with the troupe from MOP Vaishnav Girls` College rendering music.
The results (Round 1): Russia bt Slovakia 3.5-0.5, Turkey lost to Poland 0-4, Spain bt Italy 4-0, Sweden lost to Ukraine 1-3, India `B` lost to Serbia 1-3 (Kakade Atul drew Dimic Pavle, Patel Darshan lost to Jandric Damjan, Patil Shirish drew Avram Sretko, Gaurav Gadodia lost to Avram Veso), Romania bt Croatia 3.5-0.5, Denmark lost to Slovenia 0.5-3.5, India `A` bt France 3-1 (Swapnil Shah lost to Deville Olivier, Kishan Gangolli bt Belazzoug Farid, Darpan Inani bt Le Moy Patrick, Makwana Ashvin K bt Peignien Laurent), United Kingdom bt The Netherlands 4-0, South Africa lost to Columbia 1.5-2.5.