Chess Olympiad: Indian teams breeze past their opponents

Chess Olympiad

Chennai, Sep 24 (IANS) Resting five times World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, the fifth seeded Indian chess team under the open category breezed past the 94th seeded El Salvador scoring 3.5-05 points at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad held at Batumi, Georgia.

In the open category Indian Grand Masters (GM) P. Harikrishna, Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi and B. Adhiban finished their games quickly while GM K. Sasikiran took 52 moves to draw his game.

Similarly the Indian women’s team seeded fifth defeated 78th seeded New Zealand 4-0, resting one of the top players GM Harika Dronavalli.

GM Koneru Humpy, International Masters (IM) Eesha Karavade and Padmini Rout won against their New Zealand opponents quickly. On the other hand, IM Tania Sachdev had to sit more time before the chess board to wrapping up the game in her favour.

Meanwhile blind chess player Vaishali Narendra Salavkar, the first Indian female to be part of the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) Olympiad team won her game against her opponent from Sierra Leone. The IBCA team won 4-0.

Contrary to the earlier expectation that the players would sit in the descending order of their ELO rating points, the Captain of the Indian team in the open category made a change with regard to the fourth board.

As per the final board order, Anand plays on the first board, Harikrishna Aon the second board and Gujrathi on the third board.

The surprise switch is on the fourth board where Adhiban is playing instead of higher rated Sasikaran.

The fixed board order is the order in which the team players would occupy the playing table. Once it is finalised and submitted to the Olympiad organisors, it could not be changed.

The playing team consists of four players and the fifth player will be the reserve.

“Sasikiran is a solid positional player and is akin to what Rahul Dravid in cricket. But Adhiban is the equivalent of flamboyant cricket opener K. Srikkanth,” a senior chess player and a coach told IANS preferring anonymity.

He said normally the opponents on the lower boards are lower rated and slightly weaker.

“One of the strategies is to have an aggressive player at the lower end than to have a solid player who would play steadily,” he said.

He also said during the initial rounds Anand may be rested as a result the other players would move up on the board order leaving the fourth board for Sasikiran.

“This way there will be a strong Indian team,” he added.

An email to Indian team captain Ramesh on the team’s board order remain unacknowledged.

In the women’s team, the board order has been finalized in the descending order of the player’s rating viz Humpy, Dronavalli, Sachdev, Eesha and Rout.

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