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Online Chess: Viswanathan Anand Rested As India Lose To China

Chennai: India continued their shoddy show losing 1.5.-2.5 to title contenders and top seed China in the ninth round of FIDE-Chess.com Online Nations Cup on Saturday. With former world champion Viswanathan Anand resting, the Indian team managed to hold their own against the favourites before Yu Yangyi subdued B Adhiban with black pieces to secure another victory in the tournament.

Vidit Gujrathi (Elo 2636), playing on the top board, held higher-ranked Wang Hao (Elo 2750) to a draw.

GM P Harikrishna, playing with black pieces, forced a draw against Wei Yi and D Harika shared the honours against the formidable Hou Yifan.

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China, which has sealed its spot in Sunday’s “Super Final” leads the points table with 17 match points and 24 board points. Europe which is placed second will reach the summit clash if they can beat Rest of the World in the 10th and final round later in the day.

India, placed fifth after nine rounds with 5 match points and 16 board points, Russia and Rest of the World are out of contention for the “Super Final”.

The event follows the double round-robin format, with the two leading teams battling for the title in the “Super Final”.

In the other ninth round matches, Europe defeated USA 2.5-1.5 thanks a win by Nana Dzagnidze after three other games ended in draws, while Russia and Rest of the World settled for a 2-2 result.

All matches involve four boards – represented by three men and a woman player. The rapid time-control is 25-minute plus 10-second increment per move.

India played out a 2-2 draw against Europe in Online Nations Cup chess tournament in the eighth round, a setback after their first win in the event notched up against the Rest of the World.

Vidith Gujrathi ended his barren spell with a win over Levon Aronian of Europe with white pieces while Jan-Krystozf Duda beat P Harikrishna to level the scores in the match on Friday.

Former world champion Viswanathan Anand and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played out a 60-move draw while the game between world rapid champion Koneru Humpy and Anna Muzychuk too ended in a stalemate to end the match on 2-2 draw.

Earlier in the seventh round match, Anand and Harikrishna won their respective matches to help India beat Rest of the World and post their first win in the tournament.

Anand beat Teimour Radjabov in 37 moves to help India win 2.5-1.5 score. The Indian had posted his maiden win in the tournament on Thursday by thrashing Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi in just 17 moves.

Harikrishna posted his first win after four draws and a loss — to Vladislav Artemiev on Thursday — by defeating Jorgi Cori.

Earlier today, India number 2 Vidit Gujrathi’s struggles, however, continued as he went down to the talented Alireza Firouzja for Rest of the World. It was his fourth loss in the tournament so far.

D Harika and Mariya Muzychuk settled for a draw as India posted a much-needed win.

India had drawn with Russia and lost to USA on Thursday.

The event follows the double round-robin format, with the two leading teams battling for the title in the “Super Final”.

All matches involve four boards — represented by three men and a woman player. The rapid time-control is 25-minute plus 10-second increment per move.

(PTI)

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