Indian men, women post thumping victories

Brushing aside the fourth round debacle, Indian men’s and women’s teams bounced back with resounding victories over Montenegro and Austria respectively in the fifth round of the 41st Chess Olympiad here.

On a good day for the men, Parimarjan Negi, SP Sethuraman and Krishnan Sasikiran came up with fine victories while B Adhiban had to settle for a draw against lower-ranked opponents on all board. Negi scored over Nikola Djukic quite easily while Sethuraman  added Dragisa Blagojevic to his list of scalps. Sasikiran was also at his best in crushing Milan Drasko but Adhiban could not make it a clean sweep as he struggled before drawing with Dragan Kosic.

Resting Tania Sachdev, the Indian eves dominated their Austrian counterparts on all boards and the 4-0 victory was a huge morale booster ahead of the first rest day. Veronika Exler was on the receiving end against highest rated Indian girl Dronavalli Harika and Esha Karavade found her winning touch at the expense of Katherina Newrkla.

A struggling Mary Ann Gomes was the other Indian to strike form as she outplayed Julia Novkovic and on the fourth board Padimi Rout continued to impress defeating Elisabeth Hapala.

With six rounds still to come, the Indian men improved their position to joint 25th and another victory can take them closer to the top ten. The Indian women team jumped up to joint 19th spot.

There were some big games in the day as world champion Magnus Carlsen, representing the hosts, was pitted against Levon Aronian from Armenia. The game ended in a draw though the match was taken by Armenia 2.5-1.5.

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