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Tania Sachdev guides Indian women's team to victory at Chess Olympiad

35-year-old Tania Sachdev beat Zsoka Gaal to help India down Hungary in the fourth round of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai on Monday. (FIDE/Lennart Ootes & Stev Bonhage)
35-year-old Tania Sachdev beat Zsoka Gaal to help India down Hungary in the fourth round of the Chess Olympiad in Chennai on Monday. (FIDE/Lennart Ootes & Stev Bonhage)

Tania Sachdev fought hard as India A recorded a 2.5-1.5 win against Hungary in the women’s section fourth-round match at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, Chennai on Monday (August 1).

After experienced campaigners Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika and R Vaishali ended up with a draw in their respective encounters, Tania Sachdev rose fiercely to the occasion. The 35-year-old Tania outwitted Zsoka Gaal to earn the decisive points as well in the match for the team.

“It was a tough position and I was aware that our two boards had ended in a draw. We had a strong opponent and now it is time for us to play stronger teams. I think we need to be ready for the competition. We are looking forward to the next game,” Tania said after the match.

Abhijit Kunte, coach of India women’s A team, stressed the need to take one round at a time after the victory. He said:

“The teams are well balanced and it is very important to take one round at a time. All the games today were well fought."

The 11th seeded Indian women B team also defeated Estonia with a similar 2.5-1.5 score. Teenage sensation Vantika Agrawal, extending her excellent run, clinched the winning point for the team while the other three games ended in draws.


Uzbekistan’s Nodirbek stuns former World Chess Championship Challenger Caruana in open section

Meanwhile, in a major upset on Day 4, former World Championship Challenger Fabiano Caruana of the USA was beaten by Nodirbek Abdusattaarov of Uzbekistan. With the help of the 17-year-old prodigy Abdusattaarov's efforts, Uzbekistan held the top-seeded star-studded USA to a 2-2 draw.

In another open section fourth-round match, India B emerged victorious by 3-1 against Italy. Gukesh and Nihal Sarin scored victories, while R Pragnanandhaa and Raunak Sadhwani conceded draws.

Gukesh played a fantastic game against Daniele Vocaturo, who held Magnus Carlsen to a draw on Sunday. In a Queen’s Gambit Declined game, Gukesh went on a pawn grabbing spree with tactical strokes and pocketed the point after 34 moves when his queen, rook and bishop surrounded his opponent’s king.

Second-seeded India A, on the other hand, were held to a 2-2 draw by France with all four boards splitting points. It was a surprising result as India A is considered to be among the hot favorites to win a medal for the country.

In another disappointing result, India C lost to Spain by a 1.5-2.5 score.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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