Indian men stay in medal hunt

Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran guided Indian men to a creditable 2.5-1.5 victory over Germany in the 10th and penultimate round to stay in contention for a podium finish at the 41st Chess Olympiad here.

Sasikiran’s 48-move win against Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu not only raised visions of a best-ever Indian finish but also set the tone for what could be the first ever Olympiad medal for India.

With just one round to go, the Indian men find themselves elevated to a never-before joint third spot and the icing on the cake could be the fact that they are meeting Uzbekistan -- a very beatable team -- in the final round. China, meanwhile, accounted for overnight joint leader France to regain the sole lead with 17 points.

Yu Yangyi produced the all-important decisive result in the game against Laurent Fressinet to make the score line 2.5–1.5 in favour of China while other three games were drawn.

Hungary, on 16 points, outwitted Romania 3-1 to jump to sole second spot while France, Ukraine, Russia, USA, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Poland are the teams giving company to India on 15 points sharing the third spot.

In the women’s section, Indian eves drubbed Switzerland 3.5-0.5 to move to the joint 10th spot. Among the Indian players, Padmini Rout has put in an exceptional performance scoring 7.5 points out of her eight games thus far. The youngster is in line for an individual gold for her performance on the fifth board.

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