Grandmaster B Adhiban put aside his loss in the previous round and came back roaring to beat Vladislav Kovalev to ensure a 2.5-1.5 victory
for India over Belarus in the third round of world teams chess championship here.
It turned out to be Indian men’s first victory following two losses against Poland and China but the way it came promises more for the Indian men. After Vidit Gujrathi showed his excellent temperament on the top board, Adhiban has nowstruck form.
The other three games ended in draws with Vidit Gujarthi not able to press too hard against Sergei Zhigalko, Krishnan Sasikiran signing peace with Kirill Stupak and Parimarjan Negi coming up with the same result against Alexei Fedorov.
The Russian men bounced back after a lackluster draw with Turkey in the previous round to beat Ukraine 2.5-1.5. For Russia, Ian Nepomniachtchi came good against Anton Korobov while the other three games ended in draws.
The Chinese men were held to a surprising 2-2 draw by the spirited USA team with draws on all board. The USA team is without their three top players who all are among the elite players in the world — Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura. Yet the second rung team proved a tough nut to crack for China, the rating favourite.
As things stand in the open section, Poland emerged as the sole leader on six points and they are now followed by Russia and China on five each. Turkey continues to defy the odds and is in sole fourth spot on four points and United States are fifth a point behind. The Indian team shares the sixth spot with two points along with Ukraine and Norway, Belarus is ninth on one point while Egypt remains at the bottom, yet to open the account.
In the women’s world team championship being organised simultaneously, the Indian eves suffered a reversal at the hands of Ukraine and lost by 1.5-2.5 margin. D Harika was better but it was not easy to convert to a full point against Anna Ushenina while on the lower two boards, despite being higher rated, Eesha Karavade and Padmini Rout could not break the ice and drew with Lulija Oskmak and Nataliya Buksa respectively.
It again boiled down to Tania Sachdev who had guided India to a creditable win over USA in the previous round but this time the Indian faltered and lost to Inna Gaponenko in a keenly contested game.
Russia and Ukraine share the lead in the women’s section on five points each and Georgia and Poland follow them on four points each. Azerbaijan, China and India share the fifth spot on 3 points each while Vietnam on two, USA on one and Egypt on zero complete the line up.
Results Round 2 (Open): India (2) beat Belarus 2.5-1.5; (Vidit Gujarathi drew with Sergei Zhigalko; Vladislav Kovalev lost to B Adhiban; Krishnan Sasikiran drew with Kirill Stupak; Alexei Fedorov drew with Parimarjan Negi) Ukraine (2) lost to Russia (5) 1.5-2.5; Turkey (4) beat Norway (2) 2.5-1.5; USA (3) drew with China (5) 2-2; Egypt (0) lost to Poland (6).
Women: India (3) lost to Ukraine (5) 1.5-2.5; (D Harika drew with Anna Ushenina; Inna Gaponenko beat Tania Sachdev; Eesha Karavade drew with Lulija Osmak; Nataliya Buksa drew with Padmini Rout); Russia (5) drew with Azerbaijan (3) 2-2; China (3) beat Vietnam (2) 2.5-1.5; Egypt (0) lost to Georgia (4) 0-4; Poland (4) drew with USA (2) 2-2.