India register bright start in Online Chess OlympiadSeptember 9, 2021
Viswanathan Anand-led Indian team made a positive start on the opening day of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Wednesday, beating Egypt and Sweden but shared honours with France. Hungary is leading at the end of three rounds with an all-win record and six points followed by India (5 points) and France (4). A team gets two points for a win and one point for a draw. The top two teams from the group advance to the play-offs.
India had last year finished joint winner in the Online Chess Olympiad with Russia. After getting off to a flying start in Pool B of the Top Division with a 6-0 thrashing of Egypt, the Indian team, ranked three as per average rating, drew 3-3 against France before rounding off the day with a comfortable 4-2 win over Sweden.
Former world champion Anand led the way in the opening tie against Egypt with a clinical win against Adly Ahmed. The Indians swept the board, clinching all the six boards riding on Anand’s brilliant start.
There were wins for B Adhiban, Tania Sachdev, Bhakti Kulkarni, R Praggnanandhaa and his sister R Vaishali as India overpowered Egypt.
In the next match against France, Anand had to settle for a draw against their top player Etienne Bacrot as did Vidit Gujrathi, Koneru Humpy and D Harika. Praggnanandhaa went down to Marc Andria Maurizzi. However, Vaishali came to India’s rescue by downing Florence Rollot.
Vidit Gujrathi came close to a win against Yannick Gozzoli but had to settle for a draw by threefold repetition.
The third round fixture against Sweden saw victories for P Harikrishna, playing on the top board, Adhiban and Nihal Sarin which put India on the road to a win.
Humpy and Tania Sachdev drew against their respective opponents. However, young B Savitha Shri lost to Margarita Zaritovskaja. India will face Shenzhen China, Azerbaijan and Belarus in rounds four, five and six respectively on Thursday.
India’s results: Beat Egypt 6-0 (Anand beat Adly Ahmed; B Adhiban beat Adham Fawzy, Tania Sachdev beat Shahenda Wafa, Bhakti Kulkarni beat Ayah Moaataz, Praggnanandhaa beat Adham Kandil; Vaishali beat Sara Adel). Drew with France 3-3 (Anand drew Bacrot, Vidit Gujrathi drew Yannick Gozzoli, Humpy drew with Marie Sebag, D Harika drew with Pauline Guichard, Praggnanandhaa lost to Marc Andria Maurizzi, Vaishali beat Florence Rollot). Beat Sweden 4-2 (P Harikrishna beat Nils Grandelius, Adhiban beat Erik Blomqvist, Humpy drew with Pia Cramling, Tania Sachdev drew with Inna Agrest, Nihal Sarin beat Milton Pantzar, B Savitha Shri lost to Margarita Zaritovskaja).