Adhiban saves sensationally as Indian men back to joint second spot

Astana (Kazakhstan), Mar 13:

Grandmaster B Adhiban salvaged half a point as Indian men secured a 2-2 draw to regain their joint second spot after the end of the ninth and penultimate round of the World Teams Chess Championship on Wednesday.

GM Krishnan Sasikiran suffered a defeat on the second board against young Samual Savian after GM S P Sethuraman drew with Aleksandr Lenderman on the fourth board.

It was left to GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Adhiban to rescue the team but the latter had a lost position for a long time. While Ganguly showed exquisite technique to beat Alexander Onischuk, Adhiban fought on bravely and eventually drew after a marathon 88 moves.

Russia secured the gold medal in the open section with one round to spare demolishing Sweden 3.5-0.5 and taking their tally to an unassailable 14 points out of a possible 16. India have 11 points in their kitty along with England.

England went down to China 1-3 with the Chinese scoring wins with white pieces and draws with black which means that the Indian men are definitely in medal contention if they can earn a draw against Russia in the final round.

The Chinese women won the women’s championship with a round to spare scoring their eighth victory on the trot to move to 16 points. The Indian women missed out on a medal after they were beaten by Ukraine 1.5-2.5.

WGM Soumya Swaminathan lost on the second board against Anna Muzychuk while the other three games ended in draws. The Indian team had problems right from the start when the most experienced Tania Sachdev reported sick at the start and did not quite recover despite reaching a couple of rounds late.

The Russian women are on course to win a silver medal in this section on 13 points, closely followed by Ukraine on 12 and Georgia on 11. The Indian eves remained on eight points following another loss.

Results round 8 open: India (11) drew with USA (10) 2-2 (B Adhiban drew with Dariusz Swiercz; Samual Savian beat K Sasikiran; Surya Shekhar Ganguly beat Alexander Onischuk; Aleksandr Lenderman drew with S P Sethuraman); Sweden (4) lost to Russia (14) 0.3-3.5; Iran (8) drew with Azerbaijan (6) 2-2; Egypt (3) beat Kazakshtan (4) 2.5-1.5; China (10) beat England (11) 3-1.

Women: India (8) lost to Ukraine (12) 1.5-2.5 (Eesha Karavade drew with Mariya Muzychuk; Anna Muzychuk beat Soumya Swaminathan; Padmini Rout drew with Anna Ushenina; Inna Gaponenko drew with Bhakti Kulkarni); China (16) beat USA (5) 3-1; Russia (13) beat Hungary (3) 4-0; Armenia (4) drew with Georgia (11) 2-2; Egypt (0) lost to Kazakshtan (8). PTI