Women beat Bulgaria in Chess Olympiad

On a mixed day for India, women's team defeated Bulgaria to move up to joint 3rd while men slipped to tied 10th following their loss to France.

updated: November 21, 2008 12:39 IST
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On a mixed day for India at the 32nd Chess Olympiad, women's team defeated Bulgaria to move up to joint third while their men counterparts slipped to tied 10th following their loss to France in the seventh round. Asian women's champion Tania Sachdev and Asian junior girls' winner Mary Ann Gomes helped India women to a 2.5-1.5 victory over Bulgaria.

Tania atoned for her loss in the previous round to humble Emilia Dzingarova of Bulgaria on the second board. D Harika held former women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova on the top board and Swati Ghate's defeat on the third board to Margarita Voiska did not deter the Indians much as Mary Ann continued with her dream run to beat Raeva Elitsa on the fourth board.

The win helped the Indian women climb to joint third spot with 11 points and will meet Serbia in the next round. China were held by the United States but still lead the women's section with 13 points.

Ukraine follow next on 12 points while the USA, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Serbia and India are next in line. The Indian men went down 1.5-2.5 to France after Grandmaster P Harikrishna could not survive the onslaught of young Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

On the top board, GM Krishnan Sasikiran played out a draw with Etienne Bacrot while on the third and fourth tables Surya Shekhar Ganguly and GN Gopal carved out similar results against Laurent Fressinet and Vladislav Tkachiev.

The defeat saw the men slip to tied 10th with 10 points. The lead in the open section was grabbed by Armenia who defeated top-seeded Russia 2.5-1.5 and moved to 13 points. France, Israel and Germany '1' share the second spot on 12 points each.

Tania played the white side of a Grunfeld defence and displayed a fine positional sense to get the better of Emilia. The opening saw Tania coming out with a slight advantage and her manoeuvring was spot on in the middle game. The game lasted 60 moves.

Mary Ann employed the Reti Opening to beat Raeva who apparently ran out of steam. Getting a slight advantage in the middle game, Mary Ann invaded the king side and romped home in 43 moves.

P Harikrishna was outdone by Vachier-Lagrave in a Ruy Lopez game where the Indian played black. Getting what appeared as a level position, Harikrishna lost the momentum and went down after a long fight.