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After the seventh round of the Chess Olympiad 2022, Armenia pushed down the US on its way up to gold with five other teams close behind.
In the match between Sam Shankland (USA) and Robert Hovhannisyan (Armenia), Sam, playing white, brewed a disaster for his team. He was in a rush to settle for a draw, whereas Robert was very slow throughout. At the sixth hour of play, Sam moved his king to the black queen’s open check, assuming Robert had mounted a check on his king, whereas the black queen was a square short for that. The white king had to move elsewhere, making himself an easy kill.
Sam’s teammates, Wesley So and Leinier Dominguez Perez won on their boards and the top player Fabiano Caruana lost, turning the tables on Sam, and Robert’s game going on for hours, but inching towards a draw.
The loss settled US and Armenia to a draw and Armenia climbed up the list, due to Sam’s loss of points. This board was decisive, helping Armenia gain a match point to lead in the open after Round 7 with the US, India B, A, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Germany tied in second place, trying to close in on the gold.
In the fight between India A and India C, A team won 3 – 1. Arjun Erigaisi beat Abhijeet Gupta and SL Narayanan beat Abhimanyu Puranik while Pentala Harikrishna drew with Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Vidit Santhosh Gujrati drew with SP Sethuraman.
India B turned victorious against Cuba at 3 ½ – ½. Gukesh defeated Carlos Daniel, Nihal Sarin defeated Luis Ernesto and Praggnaanandhaa defeated Isan Reynaldo. Adhiban drew his game with Omar Almeida Quintana.
In the Women’s category, India A beat Azerbaijan at 2 ½ – 1 ½. Tania Sachdev beat Ulviyya Fataliyeva and R Vaishali beat Govhar Beydullayeva. Koneru Humpy recorded her first defeat in this Olympiad, losing to Gunay Mammadzada. Harika Dronavalli made a draw with Kharim Balajayeva.
In the fight between India A and India C, A team won 3 – 1. Arjun Erigaisi beat Abhijeet Gupta and SL Narayanan beat Abhimanyu Puranik while Pentala Harikrishna drew with Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Vidit Santhosh Gujrati drew with SP Sethuraman
The Tanya-Ulviya game was inching towards a draw and Tanya was moving her pawns, aiming for promotion. Ulviya had to sack her knight to kill a pawn, one move ahead to queenship. This went on for a while. At the end the kings were standing with three pawns to each other. But Tanya’s white king was a move ahead of his counterpart, capable of reaching out to his pawns first. At that juncture, Ulviya gave up. Tanya’s win was key to India A’s victory in this round 7.
India B team lost to Greece at 1 ½ – 2 ½ . Divya Desmukh beat Haritomeni Markantonaki, Mary Ann Gomes drew with Ekaterini Pavlidou. Vantika Agarwal lost to Stavroula Tsolakidou and Sowmya Swaminathan lost to Anastasia Avramidou.
India C team defeated Switzerland 3 – 1. Eesha Karavade beat Lena Georgescu, Nandhidhaa PV beat Ghazal Hakimifard. Pratyusha Bodda drew with Gundula Heinatz and Vishwa Vasnawala drew with Laura Stoeri.
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