Harpal Singh Bedi
Mamallapuram: Koneru Humpy, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni scored victories as India A beat Kazakhstan3.5-0.5 to emerge sole leader in the women’s section after the tenth round of 44th Chess Olympiad here on Monday.
Top-seed India A were provided a winning start in the penultimate round by Humpy when she outperformed Zhansaya Abdumalik. While R Vaishali, had to share point against Bibisara Assaubayeva before Sachdev and Kulkarni tilted the result of the match in hosts favour after securing win over Xeniya Balabayeva and Guliskhan Nakhbayeva in their respective games.
With just one more round remaining, India A have taken the leading spot with 17 points while Poland, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine are jointly holding second position with 16 points each.
India B and India C also notched up identical 3-1 wins in their respective Round 10 matches.
While India B defeated Netherlands with Padmini Rout, Mary Ann Gomes and Divya Deshmukh scoring victories, India C thrashed Sweden. PV Nandhidhaa and Pratyusha Bodda scored victories for India C whereas Eesha Karavade and M Varshini Sahiti settled for draws.
In other women’s section matches, Georgia held Poland to a 2-2 draw while Ukraine edged past Germany with a 2.5-1.5 score. Azerbaijan thrashed Armenia 4-0 in the most one-sided match on the top board.
Meanwhile in the open section, India A secured a 2.5-1.5 victory against Iran. Vidit Gujrathi and SL Narayanan scored the victories for India while Arjun Erigaisi drew his encounter. Pentala Harikrishna ended on the losing side.
Two Indian teams in the open section, India B and India C, settled for 2-2 draw against Uzbekistan and Slovakia respectively.
D Gukesh, who had been going great guns with a fantastic 8.5/9, suffered his first defeat of the event when he lost to Nodirbek Abdusattorov in an intense game.
Armenia scored a thumping 3-1 victory against Azerbaijan. USA, having a comparatively easier draw, thrashed Turkey 3-1 while Serbia drew against Netherlands 2-2.
Armenia and Uzbekistan have emerged joint leaders in the open section with 17 points each while India A, India B and USA are in second place with 16 points each.