International Master Tania Sachdev guided India to a creditable draw against top seed Russia while her male compatriots thumped El Salvador to remain in joint lead after the third round of the 32nd Chess Olympiad in Dresden, Germany.
The Indian men's resounding 3.5-0.5 win against El Salvador in the open section kept them in joint lead on six match points along with Russia, Armenia, Germany '1', Spain, Ukraine, Norway, England and Romania. They will meet Russia in the next round.
In the women section, Tania was a class act with her white pieces even though top rated Indian D Harika and Nisha Mohota lost their games against world women's champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and Nadezhda Kosintseva, respectively.
On the fourth board the experience of Swati Ghate again came in handy as she defeated higher rated Ekaterina Korbut.
The Indian women slipped a bit in the standings after getting one point against the Russians but this result might go a long way in the overall standings of a depleted side without top player Koneru Humpy.
Tania stole the thunder against Tatiana in a Nimzo Indian defence game. Capitalising on a tactical error, Tania won an exchange on the 28th move and wrapped the issue in 42 moves.
Hungary, Armenia, China, Serbia, Poland and Georgia share the lead with six points apiece in the women's section while Indian eves are now placed joint seventh with five.
In the biggest upset of the Olympiad thus far, 19th seed Norway defeated third seed China 2.5-1.5 in the open section.
The remaining fancied teams, however, coasted to victories. Top seeded Russians dismissed the challenge of Cuba 3.5-1.5 while second seed Ukraine held on to their own to beat Georgia by a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin.
The Indian think-tank rested national champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly against El Salvador. On the top board, Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran had it easy against Levya Hector, while on the third and fourth board G N Gopal and Sandipan Chanda delivered the goods against Chavez Hector Eduardo and Martinez Nelson respectively.
The lone draw was conceded by Grandmaster P Harikrishna who had to sign peace with Lemmys Arias on the second board.
Important results round 3 open (Match points in bracket):
Men: India (6) beat El Salvadro (4) 3.5-1.5 (K Sasikiran beat Leyva Hector; P Harikrishna drew with Lemmys Arias; Geetha Narayanan Gopal beat Chavez Hector Eduardo; Sandipan Chanda beat Nelson Martinez); Russia (6) beat Cuba (4) 3.5-0.5; Germany '1' (6) beat Malaysia (4) 3.5-0.5; Georgia (4) lost to Ukraine (6) 1.5-2.5; China (4) lost to Norway (6) 1.5-2.5; Netherlands (5) drew with Azerbaijan (5) 2-2; Armenia (6) beat Faroe Islands (4) 4-0; Tajikistan (4) lost to Spain (6) 1-3; Japan (4) lost to Romania (6) 1-3; England (6) beat Malta (4) 4-0.
Women: Russia (5) drew with India (5) 2-2 (Alexandra Kosteniuk beat D Harika; Tania Sachdev beat Tatiana Kosintseva; Nisha Mohota lost to Nadezhda Kosintseva; Swati Ghate beat Ekaterina Korbut); China (6) beat Netherlands (4) 2.5-1.5; Georgia (6) beat Israel (4) 3-1; Armenia (6) beat Germany '2' (4) 4-0; Venezuela (4) lost to Hungary (6) 0-4; Poland (6) beat Mexico (4) 4-0; Denmark (4) lost to Serbia (6) 0-4; Mongolia (3) lost to Ukraine (5) 1-3; Greece (3) lost to Indonesia (5) 1.5-2.5.