Asian Online Chess: Indian men placed 6th after three rounds

Chennai, Oct 10 (PTI) The top-seeded Indian men’s team finished day one in sixth place after three rounds of the Asian Online Nations Chess Tournament on Saturday.

After three rounds of play on day one, the Philippines is on top with six match points (11 game points) followed by Mongolia and Kazakhstan, also on 6 MPs but on 10.5 game points.

India routed New Zealand 4-0 in the opening round before the 2-2 draw against Kyrgyzstan set them back. The Surya Sekar Ganguly-led team then bounced back to humble Iraq 4-0.

In the match against Kyrgyzstan, B Adhiban and S P Sethuraman lost to Semetey Tologontegin and Asyl Adbyjpar while Ganguly and K Sasikiran posted wins.

The Indian quartet of Adhiban, Ganguly, Sethuraman and Sasikiran won on all the four boards against New Zealand and Iraq but faced a challenge against the Kyrgyzstan players.

The draw in round two is not expected to affect India’s chances of qualifying for the knockout stage as there are still six rounds left and they need to finish in top eight.

Former world champion Viswanathan Anand and Vidit Gujrathi, who captained the Indian team in the Online Olympiad which they won are not part of the squad.

The Philippines won 4-0 against Palestine and Syria but dropped a point against Thailand but it was enough to put them on top.

The women’s event gets underway on Sunday with India given the top billing.

The tournament is being played on nine-round Swiss System preliminaries in both men’s and women’s division with a time control of 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment.

The top eight teams will qualify to the knockout stage of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. Each stage will be a duel of two matches. Cash prizes worth USD 20,000 and gold, silver and bronze certificates as individual board prizes in the preliminary stages are up for grabs.

The tournament will conclude with the finals on October 25.