Blind Chess Olympiad: Britain, Spain top leaderboard

International Master Colin Crouch scored a crucial win in the last game as Britain joined Spain at the top of the table with eight match points after the fourth round of the TATA 14th IBCA Chess Olympiad for the Blind here Monday.

The two leaders were followed by Russia, Serbia and Germany at six match points while India A remained a point adrift at five.

With the India A-Britain match evenly poised at 1.5-1.5 after four hours of play, it was the experience of Crouch against Krishna Udupa that decided the match in favour of the visitors. Nursing his advantage precisely, Crouch took Britain to a 2.5-1.5 victory.

Earlier, Kishnan Gangolli gave India A a good start by scoring over Hilton Stephen. Chris Ross nullified the lead defeating Swapnil Shah in the second board. A draw in the fourth board between in-form Darpan Inani and David W. Hodgkins kept the match interestingly poised before Crouch clinched the issue for Britain.

In the top board, the fight was well on into the fifth hour as surprise leaders Spain went one up on Germany and led 2-1 with one game in hand.

The top two boards ended in draws while Fernandez Manrique Agustin scored over German Candidate Master Schellmann Frank in the third board. A draw in the last board by Clemente Llamero Roberto helped Spain move into shared lead.

Top seeds Russia improved their position with a close 2.5-1.5 victory over second seed Poland. Wins in the top and bottom boards with a draw in the third board did it for Russia.

Fourth seed Ukraine scored a comfortable 3-1 win over India B with Shirish Patil giving the hosts their lone victory. Grigorchuk Sergey, Shepelev Igor and Yatsishin Ivan scored over Kakade Atul, Patel Dashan and Gaurav Gadodia respectively.

Results (Round 4): Spain (8) bt Germany (6), India A (5) lost to Britain (8), Poland (4) lost to Russia (6), Serbia (6) bt Romania (4), Ukraine (5) bt India B (3), Slovenia (3) lost to Venezuela (5), Iran (5) bt Sweden (3), Bulgaria (5) bt Columbia (3), France (3) bt The Netherlands (1), South Africa (2) bt Denmark (1).

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