Chennai: India suffered serious reverse Tuesday in the 41st World Chess Olympiad now underway in Norway with both the teams – open and women – losing to Cuba and Serbia respectively.
The Indian team in the open section lost to Cuba 1.5 – 2.5 points by drawing three games and losing one. The women’s team lost to Serbia 1.5 – 2.5 points.
Pitted against 13th seeded Cuba, the Indian team, seeded 19th, brought back Grandmaster (GM) Lalith Babu M.R. on the fourth board, resting top board player GM Parimarjan Negi.
Babu, who had won his game in the first round and rested in the subsequent two rounds, opened the game pushing his queen pawn two squares against Cuban GM Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez.
The game progressed even for around 20 moves when the Cuban started gaining better positional play. Suarez slowly pressed home his advantage to wrap up the game in 48 moves.
On the first board, Indian GM S.P.Sethuraman (elo rating 2,590) was pitted against much higher rated Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez Perez (2,760). The Cuban player opted for English opening pushing his pawn c5.
The game progressed some what smoothly though Perez enjoyed a slight advantage. However the Indian did not give any quarter with the players finally agreeing for a draw.
The second board saw India’s dependable GM K.Sasikiran drawing with GM Lazaro Bruzon Batista in 43 moves. Playing with white pieces, Sasikiran opened the game with his queen pawn.
The game progressed on even footing and finally the players split the point.
The third board saw Grandmaster B.Adhiban with black pieces splitting the point at the end of 56th move.
In the women’s section, playing on the top board with white pieces India’s GM Harika Dronavalli won against the Serbian Women GM (WGM) Jovana Vojinovic in 62 moves.
India suffered reverses in the second and third boards.
International Master (IM) Tania Sachdev with black pieces went down to WGM Andjelija Stojanovic.
On the third board, Indian WGM Mary Ann Gomes lost to WIM Marija Rakic.
The last board offered some solace to India with WGM Padmini Rout pitted against Adela Velikic. Rout drew her game.
Meanwhile in the open section Azerbaijan beat France, Norway 1st team beat Poland, Netherlands beat Israel.
World Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway crushed 2,735-rated Polish Grandmaster Radek Wojtaszek in 33 moves. The Polish GM was the second for the former World Champion from India GM V.Anand.
Speaking about the game, Carlsen told the Norwegian television channel: “No, it’s not only about intuition. The main point is that Wojtaszek has been the second of Anand many times. His main strength is in the openings and he plays better in complicated positions than more closed positions. So I thought let’s play something more closed and less theoretical, and take it from there.”