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After a testing Round 5 of Chess Olympiad 2022 yesterday, Indian teams must be aware of their main contenders in this Olympiad. As Georgia defeated one more Indian women’s team yesterday at 3 – 1, with Soumya and Divya losing and Vantika and Padmini drawing their games, the challenge is now open for Team A which is yet to face Georgia.

The Indian youngsters in team B defeated Spain at 2 ½ – 1 ½ . Although Jaime Santos managed to defeat Pragnanandha and Anton Guijjaro drew against Nihal Sarin, their going got tough with Adhiban Bhaskaran and Gukesh winning against their team mates. Notably, Alexei Shirov, who lost to Gukesh, is a world championship contender. Eduardo Iturrizaga, who lost to Baskaran, is the first Venezuelan Grandmaster with four consecutive championships.

After Adhiban Bhaskaran’s 34th move with Spain’s Itturizaga, it was clear to both of them that victory lay with tactical moving of each of their knights and bishop. Baskaran was keen on pawn promotion, just two moves away, with a knight and bishop supporting it. Itturizaga intended to besiege Adhiban’s white king inside the castle, with the aid of a knight.

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After exchanging bishops and Adhiban’s pawn finding itself close to promotion, Iturri dropped his offence and tried to protect his fort. Realising that he was losing, the Venezuelan grandmaster resigned finally.

In the Open, Team A defeated Romania at 2 ½  – 1 ½, with Pentala Harikrishnan drawing against Daniel Deac, SL Narayanan drawing against Constantin Lupulescu and Vidhit Gujarati drawing against Vlad Cristian Jianu. Arjun Erigaisi saved their day winning Parligras, Mircea-Emilian. Seemingly a tug of war, it is significant to note that team Romania is seeded 20 as against team A seeded 2.

Team C defeated Chile at 2 ½ – 1 ½. While Murali Karthikeyan lost to Pablo Salinas Herrera and SS Ganguly had a draw with Cristobal Henriquez Villagra, Sethuraman and Abhimanya Puranik won against Ivan Morovic and Hugo Lopez silva respectively.

After exchanging bishops and Adhiban’s pawn finding itself close to promotion, Iturri dropped his offence and tried to protect his fort. Realising that he was losing, the Venezuelan grandmaster resigned finally.

In the Women’s category, Team A defeated France at 2 ½ – 1 ½. Koneru Humpy had a draw with Marie Sebag,Harika Dronavalli with Sophie Milliet and R Vaishali with Anastasia Savina. Tania Sachdev’s victory over Andreea Navrotescu changed the game. Tania, with a rating of 2399, with no history of loss so far in this Olympiad, is promising.

In Team B vs Georgia, Vantika agrawal managed to draw Nana Dzagnidze and Padmini Rout with Nino Batsiashvili while Soumya Swaminathan lost to Lela Javakhishvili and Divya Deshmukh to Meri Arabidze.

Team C drew against Brazil with Eesha Karawade and Vishwa drawing Julia Alboredo and Vanessa Ramos Gazola, Pratyusha Bodda losing to Juliana Sayumi Terao and PV Nandhidhaa defeating Kathie Goulart Librelato.


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