Chess Olympiad: Red-hot India ‘B’ thrash Estonia 4-0

Mamallapuram, 30 Jul: India ‘B’ blanked Estonia 4-0 in the second round of the Open section in the 44th Chess Olympiad here on Saturday while the second-seeded ‘A’ team defeated Moldova 3.5-0.5 to make it two wins from as many matches.
World champion Magnus Carlsen was in the spotlight after missing the first round as he scored over Georg Meier to star in third-seeded Norway’s 4-0 victory against Uruguay.
The formidable USA team, the top-seed in the Open event, did not have it easy for a second straight day as the star-studded outfit could only manage a 2.5-1.5 victory over Paraguay after having dropped half a point against Angola on the first day.
In the women’s section, top-seeded India ‘A’ beat Argentina 3.5-0.5.
Koneru Humpy, playing on top board, was held to a draw by Marisa Zuriel in 44 moves but Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni posted victories over Maria Campos and Maria Belen Sarquis to give the team the victory before R Vaishali battled it out against Maria Jose Campos on the second board to seal the win.
India ‘B’ recorded a 3.5-0.5 win over Latvia with Mary Ann Gomes, Soumya Swaminathan and Mary Ann Gomes defeating their respective opponents — Laura Rogule, Agnesa S Ter-Avetisjana and Nellija Malkakova.
Padmini Rout could not get past Ilze Berzina and shared the point.
The third host team in the women’s section, India ‘C’ defeated Singapore 3-1 with victories for P V Nandhidhaa and Easha Karavade. Pratyusha Bodda and Vishwa Vasnawala were held to draws by Yang Hazel Liu and Kun Fang respectively.
The men’s event saw India ‘B’, seen by many including Carlsen and the legendary Viswanathan Anand as dark horses, stormed to a 4-0 win.
D Gukesh on the top board beat Kalle Kiik while R Praggnanandhaa on the second board, after being rested on Friday, beat Kirill Chukavin. There were wins for the experienced B Adhiban and Raunak Sadhwani against Aleksandr Volodin and Andrei Shishkov respectively. (PTI)