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Magnus Carlsen said he feared Team B of India that included Praggnanandha and his fears have been well founded, so far. Pentala Harikrishnan stole the show, with his tactical win against Dimitri Mastrovasilis, in the Round 3 of the Chess Olympiad, yesterday.

Dimitri’s king side castling was wasted with his bishop and knight nowhere near to counter either Pentala’s bishop on a suicide mission or the tactical siege of castle by his queen and knight. By the time Dimitri’s black queen reached out, the castle was besieged already.

Pentala’s game was swift as the castle breach seemed imminent on his 23rd move. By the 25th, Dimitri resigned.

Harika Dronavalli, Indian second best in her first match of this chess olympiad, representing Women’s Team A drew the match with England’s Houska Jovanka. Women’s team A Bhakti Kulkarni’s had an amazing victory in a game she was losing against Akshaya Kalaiyalahan from England and R Vaishali won against Kataryzna Toma.

Recording its first loss in this Chess Olympiad, Indian women Team C, Sahithi Varshini lost to Austrian Nikola Maryhubr. However, Pratyusha Bodda, Eesha Karawade and PV Nandhidhaa’s scores turned out in favour of the team. PV Nandhidhaa’s opponent failed to turn up for the match, giving an edge to the win.

In Team B’s game against Indonesia, Padmini Rout and Mary Ann Gomes managed to draw, while Soumya swaminathan and Vantika agrawal won, settling the scores to 3 – 1.

In the Open, the youngsters team, comprising D Gukesh, R Praggnanandhaa, Nikhil Sharin, Raunak Sadhwani and Adhiban, who grabbed international attention after Magnus Carlsen’s comment, had their hat trick win against Switzerland. Pentala Harikrishnan and D Gukesh with a rating 2720 and 2684 respectively are riding a wave of success.

In Team C, SS Ganguly and A Puranik settled with a draw, while SP Sethuraman and Abhijeet Gupta won the game, managing to  lift the scores to 3 -1 against Iceland.

In a twist, Team Italy shocked the third seeded Norway team headed by Magnus Carlsen, the reigning five time world chess champion. While Carlsen and Tari Aryan managed to draw their games, Jon Ludvig Hammer and Johan Sebastian Christiansen lost to Italy’s Lodici Lorenzo and Sonis Franscesco, making Team Italy victorious with 3 – 1.


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