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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Istanbul Chess Olympiad R4: Indian men Draw with USA; Women Draw with Serbia

Yes, she's a chess player in Istanbul...
(Photo: Arman Karakhanyan)


The Indian team had an excellent draw on the top board against the USA in the fourth round of the Istanbul Chess Olympiad 2012 considering that they were rated below the American team. It is another matter that Indian could have won on the first board as well and created an upset!

Round 4 on 2012/08/31
United States Of America - India 2 : 2

1.1 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2778 - GM Sasikiran, Krishnan 2707 1 - 0
1.2 GM Kamsky, Gata 2746 - GM Harikrishna, Pentala 2685 0 - 1
1.3 GM Onishuk, Alexander 2666 - GM Negi, Parimarjan 2664 ½ - ½
1.4 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 2617 - GM Gupta, Abhijeet 2637 ½ - ½




Harikrishna and Negi (Photo: David Llada)

Sasikiran (Photo: David Llada)
All credit to Negi and Gupta for holding draws on Boards 3 and 4. Former world junior chess champion Harikrishna is playing big-time and brought down world chess championship candidate Kamsky. All credit to Sasikiran for keeping Nakamura on the ropes despite the unlucky fumble near the time control and the unfortunate mating net. If things had gone India's way, Sasikiran would have had a draw at least. Nevertheless, a draw against the 5th seeded Americans by the 13th seeded Indians is great performance.

Saturday's Round 5 Pairings for India
India - England
7.1 GM Sasikiran, Krishnan 2707 - GM Adams, Michael 2722
7.2 GM Harikrishna, Pentala 2685 - GM Jones, Gawain 2653
7.3 GM Negi, Parimarjan 2664 - GM Short, Nigel 2698
7.4 GM Gupta, Abhijeet 2637 - GM Pert, Nicholas 2555


Mary Ann Gomes
(Photo: David Llada)
The Indian women's team put in their best as well. Though, it was trifle unlucky as being sixth seeded they had to draw with the 19th seeded Serbia. 

Round 4 on 2012/08/31
India - Serbia
1.1 GM Dronavalli, Harika 2503 - IM Bojkovic, Natasa 2392 ½ - ½
1.2 IM Karavade, Eesha Sanjay 2371 - WGM Manakova, Maria 2304 0 - 1
1.3 IM Sachdev, Tania 2379 - WIM Rakic, Marija 2300 1 - 0
1.4 WGM Gomes, Mary Ann 2396 - WGM Benderac, Ana 2266 ½ - ½


Saturday's Round 5 Pairings for India
China - India
6.1 GM Hou, Yifan 2599 - GM Dronavalli, Harika 2503
6.2 GM Zhao, Xue 2549 - IM Karavade, Eesha Sanjay 2371
6.3 WGM Ju, Wenjun 2528 - IM Sachdev, Tania 2379
6.4 WGM Huang, Qian 2449 - WGM Gomes, Mary Ann 2396
Tania Sachdev
(Photo: David Llada)
Meanwhile, the big talk of the fourth round was Russia's win over China. Bu Xiangzhi comfortably held Sergey Karjakin with the Petroff defence but Wang Yue erred terribly and fell victim to a knight fork. Dmitry Jakovenko made a positional exchange sacrifice and gradually outplayed the ambitious Li Chao, bringing the decisive advantage in the match to Russia. In the longest game of the match Wang Hao held the inferior position against Kramnik. Final score 3-1 in favour of Russia.
Azerbaijan obtained a 1.5-0.5 lead against Germany before the time control, but the Germans were pressing hard with white in the remaining two games. Eltaj Safarli succeeded in securing the draw, but Gadir Guseinov went down in an opposite-coloured Bishops endgame. France and England split the points, while Armenia achieved a narrow victory against The Philippines. Levon Aronian praised his opponent Wesley So in an interview after the game.

Ukraine caught up after the swift 3-1 victory against Poland. Vassily Ivanchuk won his first game in the Olympiad, while Ruslan Ponomariov beat Mateusz Bartel to avenge the loss from the recent Dortmund super-tournament.

In the women's section, Georgian wiped out Cuba 4-0, while China fielded World Champion Yifan Hou for the second day in a row to defeat Germany 3-1. The French beat Argentina 3.5-0.5, while the Russians beat the Czech Republic 3-1. 

Poland and Slovakia could not make headway in their match trading wins on the top and bottom boards with no progress on the middle boards, ending 2-2. Much the same with the US and Slovenia except the top and bottom boards exchanged draws with the middle boards exchanging the wins.


World Chess Champion Hou Yifan
(Photo: Arman Karakhanyan)
In the Open section, joint leaders are top seed Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Hungary with perfect match scores. In the women's sections, we have Russia and France as joint leaders. You can watch all the action live at the official website from India time 5.30 pm.

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