Indian men, women suffer losses

India witnessed a bad day in office as the men’s team suffered a 2.5-1.5 defeat at the hands of 12th seed Cuba, while their fifth-seeded female counterparts were shocked by Serbia by similar margin in the fourth round of the 41st Chess Olympiad here.

The top boards for the Indian men again delivered the goods despite the absence of Parimarjan Negi, who was rested for this match. SP Sethuraman donned the top board for the first time and put up a sterling show to draw with Leinier Dominguez Perez, winner of one of the Grand Prix last year.

Krishnan Sasikiran yet again tried but the end result was a draw with Lazaro Bruzon Batista, while on the third board too B Adhiban held his fort together with a fighting draw against Yuniesky Quesada Perez.

However a disappointing loss for M R Lalith Babu against Isan Reynoldo Oritz Suarez paved the way for a Cuban victory by a minimal margin. The loss proved costly for the Indian men as they slipped way down in standings from an overnight joint 12th place and remained on five match points out of a possible eight.

In the women’s event, D Harika did her bit on the top board accounting for Jovana Vojinovic but Tania Sachdev and Mary Ann Gomes suffered defeats at the hands of Andjelija Stojanovic and Marija Rakic respectively.

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