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On Day 2 of Chess Olympiad, the Swiss format seemed to kick in with the Indian team facing tougher opponents which showed in how R Vaishali won after a long, exhausting game against Maria Campos Jose of Argentina.

Since the number of teams is large, the Swiss format has been chosen. In this, teams play each day a different set of teams based on their performance previous day. On Day 1, Indians won all their matches but that was not the case today. R Vaishali exemplified the day’s proceedings for India.

After more than 80 moves, as the game stretched to five hours, R Vaishali won against Women Team A and Maria Campos Jose from Argentina. At one point as the endgame was being played out, it seemed a draw was the likely result. Such long games can be a test of mental strength. Blunders are common even among the best of players. Players miss obvious opportunities to forge ahead. Though Vaishali too was making errors and missed an opportunity, she was alert enough to seize upon a blunder Maria made to win.

Towards the end, besides two pawns of Vaishali that could be pushed for promotion, the two kings were left only with a rook each. Maria’s blunder was in moving the rook from E8 to E1 to prevent the black pawn from promotion. This was actually the job of Maria’s white king and it gave Vaishali a window of opportunity. Vaishali seized the opportunity, took control and won.

In Round two, Indian teams faced Moldova, Estonia, Mexico, Argentina, Latvia and Singapore. Round two was challenging for Indian teams in both open and women. Wins were many but there were more draws compared to Round one. Except for Team B’s clean victory against Estonia, there were draws in the matches played by the five other teams.

The Results : In Open, Team A beat Moldova with 3 ½  – ½, Team B beat Estonia with 4 – 0 and Team C beat Mexico with 2 ½  – 1 ½.

In Women, Team A beat Argentina with 3 ½ – ½ , Team B beat Latvia with 3 ½ – ½  and Team C beat Singapore with 3 – 1.

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