Online Chess Olympiad: India edges out Ukraine in tie-break to reach semi-final

Chennai, 13 Sep: India held off a fighting Ukraine via the tie-breaker to enter the semi-finals of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Monday with B Adhiban, D Harika and Nihal Sarin playing key roles.
The blitz tie-break saw India outclass its opponent 5-1 thanks to wins for Adhiban, Harika, Sarin and R Vaishali storm into the last four.
India’s top woman player Koneru Humpy drew her game against Iulija Osmak while Vidit Gujrathi, playing on top board instead of the rested former world champion Viswanathan Anand, shared honours with veteran Vasyl Ivanchuk.
In the blitz tie-break, Adhiban broke the resistance of Kirill Shevchenko in 36 moves in a Larsen Indian variation game. The Ukraine player had in the two regular games held his own, drawing against P Harikrishna and beating Vidit Gujrathi.
Ukraine bounced back after losing the first round 2-4 by trumping India 3.5-2.5 in the second to force the blitz tie-breaks.
In the second round, R Praggnanandhaa, playing in place of Nihal Sarin, posted the first win for India, beating Platon Galperin with white pieces. The young GM underlined his superiority, securing victory in just 20 moves in a Sicilian variation game.
Harika extended India’s lead by getting the better of Natalia Zhukova in 32 moves with white pieces. She had in the first game of the quarterfinal beaten her opponent.
While Anand drew a second straight game against long-time rival Ivanchuk, Vidit Gujrathi who came in for P Harikrishna lost to Kirill Shevchenko. (PTI)