Chess Olympiad: Sasikiran, Erigaisi record victories as India beat Brazil

Harpal Singh Bedi


Mamallapuram:  Krishnan Sasikiran and Arjun Erigaisi’s scored facile wins as India A defeated Brazil 3-1 in the ninth-round match of open section at the 44th Chess Olympiad here on Sunday.

Putting behind the loss to Armenia on Saturday, India A started off the game on a winning note when Sasikiran raked in the first point against Andre Diamant in a Nimzo Indian game.

Things appeared to move sedately when a couple of consecutive wrong moves by the bishops on the 42nd and 43rd turn allowed Saikiran to gain advantage and convert it to victory on the 49th turn.

Erigaisi, on the other hand, went the English way against Sevag Krikor Mekhitarian. After the opponent castled late on the 25th turn, Erigaisi won an exchange and needed 63 moves to force victory.

The other two players, Pentala Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi were held to draws in their respective games.

Sasikiran shrugged off yesterday’s debacle against Armenia, saying: “Sometimes these things happen but we always try to overcome such difficulties as a team by going for a long walk. I am happy that the team is cohesive, we always eat together and discuss a lot of things together.”

India C also emerged victorious as they thrashed Paraguay 3-1.

Meanwhile, R Praggnanandhaa defeated Vasif Durarbayli as India B held sixth-seeded Azerbaijan to a 2-2 draw. D Gukesh’s winning run came to an end after he conceded his first draw of the event against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a well fought game. Nihal Sarin was also held to a draw by Rauf Mamedov while Raunak Sadhwani ended on the losing side against Nijat Abasov.

In another open section match, USA shrugged off Saturday’s loss against India by registering a 2.5-1.5 win against Greece.

Currently, Uzbekistan are sole leaders in the open section with 16 points followed by India B and Armenia with 15 points each.

In the women’s section, India B and India C defeated Switzerland and Estonia by 4-0 and 3-1 respectively while India A suffered a 1.5-2.5 loss to fourth seed Poland.  

In one of the crucial games, second seed Ukraine was held to a 2-2 draw by Georgia and thus, India A continued to be at the top position in the women’s section but are now joined by Georgia, Poland and Kazakhstan, all having scored 15 points each.

Kazakhstan defeated Bulgaria 3-1.

HSB

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