India lose to USA, slip to tied 3rd in World Team Chess


It turned out to be a bad day for the Indians as Krishnan Sasikiran and P Harikrishna lost to Hikaru Nakamura and Alexander Onischuk respectively, while Surya Shekhar Ganguly and S Arun Prasad only managed to secure draws. Meanwhile, in a sensational result Greece, after tasting defeat at the hands of India in the opening round, stunned top seeds and rating favourite Russia 2.5-1.5 to earn full points.

Dmitry Jakovenko gave Russia the perfect start with a win over Vasilios Kotronia in the top board. But Alexander Morozevich and Evgeny Tomashevsky went down to Ioannis Papaioannou and Hristos Banikas respectively and then the fourth board ended in tame draw to see Greece register a stunning victory. Russia will take on the USA in round three, a match they cannot afford to lose if they want to win the title. In other matches, Olympiad winners Armenia returned to form by beating Israel 1.5-2.5, especially after their first round disaster against Azerbaijan. In other results of the day, Azerbaijan defeated hosts Turkey 3-1 while Brazil accounted for Egypt 2.5-1.5.

Azerbaijan and USA emerged as the joint leader with four points from two matches played so far. India slipped to joint third position along with Israel, Russia, Greece, Armenia and Brazil with two match points apiece. With seven rounds still to come in the 10-teams elite event, Turkey and Egypt are yet to open their accounts.

In the game between India and USA, Nakamura made a dream start by defeating Sasikiran on the top board in a closed Sicilian and lively game that lasted 46 moves. Harikrishna, meanwhile, played the white side of a Queen's gambit declined and tried hard. But Onischuk was quite up to the task and found his counter play early on the queen side and his pawn roller proved quite effective. The game lasted 43 moves.

Ganguly's Queen's gambit accepted came good for the second day running as he registered another draw with black pieces against Yuri Shulman. S Arun Prasad is the only Indian to win a game thus far but his effort with white against Varuzhan Akobian did not come good as the duo signed peace in just 23 moves. Results round 2: Armenia (2) beat Israel (2) 2.5-1.5; Brazil (2) beat Egypt (0) 2.5-1.5; Greece (2) beat Russia (2) 2.5-1.5; USA (4) beat India (2) 3-1 (Hikaru Nakamura beat Krishnan Sasikiran; P Harikrishna lost to Alexander Onischuk; Yuri Shulman drew with S S Ganguly; S Arun Prasad drew with Varuzhan Akobian); Azerbaijan (4) beat Turkey (0) 3-1.

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