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Chess Olympiad: Indian men finish 16th

November 26, 2008 12:33 IST

Riding on a final round 3-1 victory over Slovakia, the Indian men team finished 16th while the eves had to be content with a 15th place finish in the 32nd chess Olympiad that concluded in Dresden, Germany.

P Harikrishna and Surya Shekhar Ganguly guided the Indian men to victory while Krishnan Sasikiran and G N Gopal played out draws. Harikrishna scored at the expense of Luboimir Ftacnik while Ganguly got the better of Tomas Petrik.

All the Indian men except Sandipan Chanda stand to gain a little rating from their showing in this tournament and the overall performance is better than last time when they finished 30th after starting out as the second seeds.

The Indian women could have finished better but for a miscalculation by D Harika in the final round game against Elina Sedina. While the other three boards ended in draws, Harika's loss proved costly as the 11th seed team ended joint 13th on 14 match points.

In a nail biting finale, Armenian men retained the crown in the open section after beating China by a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin. For the Armenians Tigran Petrosian provided the much needed breakthrough on the fourth board against Li Chao while the remaining three games ended in draws.

The silver in this section went to Israel after they bounced back to beat Holland 2.5-1.5, while the US men's team handed a 3.5-0.5 drubbing to second seed Ukraine to stake their claim for the Bronze.

For the records, the Armenians ended with 19 match points, Israel finished on 18 while the US finished ahead of Ukraine for a creditable third finish. None of the top seven ranked teams won a medal.

In the women's section, Georgia regained the Crown defeating Serbia in their final round clash. The overnight leader Polish ladies went down against Ukraine on the top board and went out of medal contention.

The Georgian women finished with (18) points in all and had the better tiebreak score than Ukraine who finished second. The US women's team finished third here beating France by a 2.5-1.5 margin and ending on 17 points with better tie-break than Russia and Poland respectively.

For the Georgian women the contribution by former world champion Maia Chiburdanidze proved to be most useful as the veteran Grandmaster registered a rating performance of 2715 points in her 7.5/9 score.

The 32nd edition of the Olympiad had 144 teams participating in the open section, while there were 111 teams in the women's.

 For every victory the teams were awarded with two match points while in the event of a drawn 2-2 result the points was shared. In the open section Armenia won nine matches, drew one and lost one while in the women's Georgia won eight and drew two matches.

The next edition of the Olympiad will be held at Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, in 2010.

Important results final round Open:
(Men) India (26) beat Slovakia (27) 3-1 (K. Sasikiran drew with Sergei Movsesian; P. Harikrishna beat Lubomir Ftacnik; Surya Shekhar Ganguly beat Tomas Petrik; G. N. Gopal drew with Peter Vavrak); China (16) lost to Armenia (19) 1.5-2.5; USA (17) beat Ukraine (17) 3.5-0.5;  Israel (18) beat Netherlands (15) 2.5-1.5; Russia (16) drew with Spain (16) 2-2; France (14) lost to Azerbaijan (16) 1.5-2.5; Vietnam (16) beat Serbia (14) 2.5-1.5; Hungary (16) beat Belarus (14) 2.5-1.5; Georgia (16) beat Romania (14) 2.5-1.5; Croatia (14) drew with England (15) 2-2.

(Women) India (14) lost to Armenia (16) 1.5-2.5 (D. Harika lost to Elina Danielian; Tania Sachdev drew with Lilit Mkrtchian; Swati Ghate drew with Nelly Aginian; Mary Ann Gomes drew with Lilit Galojan); Poland (17) lost to Ukraine (18) 1.5-2.5; Georgia (18) beat Serbia (16) 3-1; USA (17) beat France (14) 2.5-1.5; Netherlands (14) lost to Russia (15) 1.5-2.5; Romania (15) drew with  China (15) 2-2; Hungary (14) drew with Uzbekistan (14) 2-2; Italy (15) beat Greece (13) 2.5-1.5;Argentina (13) lost to Belarus (15) 1-3; Mongolia (14) drew with Bulgaria (14) 2-2.  Standings: Open: 1. Armenia (19 match points), 2. Israel (18), 3. USA (17); 16. India (15). Ladies: 1. Georgia (18), 2. Ukraine (18), 3. USA (17); 15. India (14).

Scores of Indian players (Open):

Men: Krishnan Sasikiran 6/10; P Harikrishna 6/10; Surya Shekhar Ganguly 6/9; G N Gopal 5.5/9; Sandipan Chanda 2.5/6.

Women: D Harika 5/10; Tania Sachdev 6.5/11; Nisha Mohota ; Swati Ghate 6.5/11; Mary Ann Gomes 6/8.

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