India go down to Russia

Share third spot with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Israel

India, who had slipped to joint third after they drew with Armenia in the fifth round, failed to make any headways and now share the position with Azerbaijan, Armenia and Israel with eight match points each.

Russia now share the lead with the USA with 15.5 points each. Krishnan Sasikiran did well to hold Alexander Grischuk on the top board while P Harikrishna was lucky to survive a scare against Dmitry Jakovenko. On the third board, Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly tried hard but could not break through Vladimir Malakhov’s defence.

The Indian hopes of holding the Russians were dashed on the last board when S Arun Prasad also could not hold his position against Nikita Vituigov.
The Indians now have to chart comprehensive victories over Egypt and Brazil if they are to finish the elite team event among the toppers.
In the next round, India will meet Egypt and the team think tank has decided to rest Ganguly and Arun.

Against Grischuk, Sasikiran could do little with white and in the end it was a good performance from him against a highly regarded opposition.
This was Sasikiran’s fourth 2700+ rated opponent in the tournament and his score of 2.5 points speaks volumes about his commitment.

Meanwhile, the United States gave yet another impressive show and beat Brazil 3-1 to remain in joint lead along with the Russians. Armenia was shocked by Greece and lost 1-3 losing on the second and fourth board, while in other matches of the day, Turkey opened their account after holding Egypt to a 2-2 draw and Azerbaijan drew with Israel (2-2).

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