Chess: Indian men draw with Israel, women beat Germany
World's second youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi defeated Maxim Rodshtein on the third board to help India play out a 2-2 draw with Israel in the 6th round of the 40th Chess Olympiad here.
Up against higher ranked Israelis, Krishnan Sasikiran played out a chanceless draw against Boris Gelfand, who was the challenger to Viswanathan Anand earlier this year for the world crown at Moscow.
P Harikrishna continued to live up to expectations and did not give any chance to Emil Sutovsky on the second board before signing peace but Abhijeet Gupta was in dire straits when Parimarjan still had to convert his advantage.
The Delhi-based Negi, however lived up to his reputation, coming out with a spirited display to draw 2-2 even as Gupta suffered his first loss in the Olympiad. The Indian eves bounced back from two dismal results to beat Germany 3-1 with Tania Sachdev and former world junior girls' champion Soumya Swaminathan coming good on the last two boards.
Post a draw with lower ranked Serbia and a thrashing at the hands of fancied China, this was a good comeback by the Indian girls and they now match their male counterparts on nine points out of a possible 12 in this section. Former world champion, Vladimir Kramnik laid the foundation but Russia could not pull it through against Armenia as Sergei Movsesian pulled out an unexpected victory against Alexander Grischuk on the second board.
The 2-2 draw left Russia and Armenia at the top on 11 points along with fast-catching-up Azerbaijan that crushed Croatia 3-1 quite easily. With five rounds still to go, China, Philippines, Ukraine, Hungary and Spain share the fourth spot, while the Indian men are now joint tenth in the standings on nine points.
In the next round Krishnan Sasikiran and team will take on Argentina.
In the women's section, Chinese eves could only draw parity with holders Russia, while Poland caught up with the overnight leaders. Russia and Poland share the lead on 11 points each, while China, Georgia Ukraine and France remain on the heels of the leaders a full point behind.
The Indian girls are in joint seventh spot here and will meet Estonia in the next round. Negi proved his mettle against Rodshtein with a fine performance on the third board. The Caro Kann defense by the Israeli did not come good in the advance variation and the Indian seized the initiative to forcibly win a pawn in the middle game.
Rodshtein tried a comeback through a pawn roll but Negi was relentless in this round. For once Gupta fumbled after attaining a good position as black against Avrukh who is a known theoretician. The Israeli pounced on his chances in the middle game to launch a king side attack and Gupta had no answers.
Tania Sachdev returned to her top form to script another Indian victory in the women's section. Melanie Ohme of Germany was on the receiving end as Tania scored her fifth victory in six games so far.
Soumya Swaminathan also added to the Indian delight on the fourth board defeating Marta Michna.
Important results, Round 6 open: Russia (11) drew with Armenia (11) 2-2; Azerbaijan (11) beat Croatia (9) 3-1; Germany (9) drew with USA (9) 2-2; Czech Republic (8) lost to Spain (10) 1.5-2.5; Philippines (10) beat Bulgaria (8) 2.5-1.5; Bosnia & Herzegovina (8) lost to China (10) 0.5-3.5; Hungary (10) beat Poland (8) 3-1; England (9) drew with Italy (9) 2-2; Montenegro (8) lost to Ukraine (10) 1-3; India (9) drew with Israel (9) 2-2 (Krishnan Sasikiran drew with Boris Gelfand; Emil Sutovsky drew with P Harikrishna; Parimarjan Negi beat Maxim Rodshtein; Boris Avrukhbeat Abhijeet Gupta); Moldova (9) beat Slovenia (8) 3.5-0.5.
Women: China (10) drew with Russia (11) 2-2; Poland (11) beat Serbia (9) 3.5-0.5; Slovakia (9) lost to Georgia (11) 1.5-2.5; Hungary (9) drew with Spain (9) 2-2; Ukraine (10) beat Azerbaijan (8) 3.5-.5; France (10) beat Philippines (8) 3-1; Czech Republic (8) lost to Vietnam (10) 1-3; Montenegro (9) drew with Estonia 99) 2-2; Greece (9) beat Belarus (7) 2.5-1.5; Peru (9) beat Latvia (7) 3-1; India (9) beat Germany (7) 3-1 (D Harika drew with Elisabeth Paehtz; Tetyana Melamed drew with Eesha Karavade; Tania Sachdev beat Melanie Ohme; Marta Michna lost to Soumya Swaminathan; Israel (7) lost to Uzbekistan (9) 1.5-2.5.