Never seen anything like it, it’s incredible: chess player Anna Cramling
Updated: Jul 31, 2022 12:52 AM STI
Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]Jul 31 (ANI): As in the ongoing 44th Chess Olympiad, the Indian team in several categories are in strong positions against many tournament favorites, Swedish chess player Anna Cramling says everyone playing for India is rated at over 2600 and she has never seen anything like this.
“India are very strong, especially in the open section, everyone playing for India is rated over 2600. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s amazing,” Anna Cramling told ANI.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur ushered in the opening day of the historic event by taking the first step at Vidit Gujrathi’s board on Friday. Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, Indian Chess Federation President Sanjay Kapoor and Olympiad Director Bharat Singh Chauhan also attended the occasion.
On the second day of the prestigious event, the favorites escaped the second round of the women’s section of the 44th Chess Olympiad as former world champion Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine suffered a loss to Turkey’s Ekaterina Atalik while India’s Koneru Humpy was forced to share the point against much lower rated Marisa Zuriel of Argentina in Mamallapuram, Chennai on Saturday.
Apart from these individual upheavals, the Top 20 seeds remained unscathed. All three Indian women’s teams won their matches and extended their winning streak at this prestigious event.
Azerbaijan, Armenia and Romania are the Top 20 teams that shut out their opponents with a score of 4-0. This event is an 11-round Swiss league where four players are lined up for each round.
Victories for R Vaishali, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni helped India’s A team to a 3.5-0.5 win over Argentina.
Argentinian Zuriel went for the volatile Benko Gambit against Humpy who skipped the popular straight without accepting the gambit. A locked position with little progress forced Humpy to settle for a draw after 44 moves, each having a queen, rook, and bishops of the opposite color with an identical number of pawns.
Sachdev, who was stretched over 100 moves on Friday, picked up a quick win over Anapaola in a Grunfeld match that lasted 36 moves after his queen, rook and knight set up a matting net.
The Indian B team beat Latvia 3.5-0.5 with Vantika Agrawal, Soumya Swaminathan and Mary Ann Gomes emerging victorious and Padmini Rout conceding a draw to Nellija Maklakova.
India C team, meanwhile, beat Singapore 3-1 with Eesha Karavade and PV Nandhidhaa scoring wins while Pratyusha Bodda and Vasnawala Vishwa were held to a draw.
Nandhidhaa was involved in a Pirc Defense match against Emmanuelle Mei-En and picked up a nice win with well-placed pieces and an extra bishop. The game lasted 34 moves.
The current Olympiad, which is taking place in India for the very first time, will be played until August 10. (ANI)