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Indian men lose to Ukraine in Chess Olympiad

The Indian open team suffered a major setback to its medal hopes on Sunday, losing 2.5 -1.5 against much stronger Ukranine in the ninth round of the World Chess Olympiad at Baku in Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile, the Indian eves won 3-1 against Netherlands.

Playing on the top board, the Indian open team was led by World No.15 Indian Grandmaster (GM) Pentala Harikrishna who faced the Reti Opening King’s Indian Attack from the Ukranian GM Pavel Eljanov.

The position was equal throughout the game and both players agreed to a draw.

On the second table, India’s B. Adhiban with white pieces was not able to pierce the Ukranian GM Ruslan Ponomariov’s defence and split the point with in 34 moves.

Similarly, GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi drew his game against higher rated Ukranian GM Yuriy Kryvoruchko in 30 moves.

With opposite coloured bishops, a rook and six pawns each the position was drawish for Gujrathi.

The fourth board saw India’s GM S.P. Sethuraman locking horns against GM Anton Korobov who opted for the Sicilian defence. The Ukranian gradually gained good board position to win the game in 62 moves.

At the end of ninth round, the US team extended its lead defeating Norway 3-1.

On the top board, World Chess Champion and the highest rated player Norwegian Magnus Carlsen (ELO rating 2857) was held to a draw by GM Fabiano Caruana.

In the women’s section World No.5 Indian GM Harika Dronavalli opened the points account by winning against Zhaoqin Peng in 30 moves.

International Master (IM) Tania Sachdev, who was rested for the eighth round, was fielded on the third table amd won her game in 38 moves while WGM Soumya Swaminathan checkmated her opponent.

The Indian team suffered a setback with IM Padmini Rout losing her game.

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