Krishnan Sasikiran beat Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu to help India defeat Germany 2.5-1.5 in the tenth and penultimate round of the 41st Chess Olympiad at Tromso, Norway on August 12, 2014.
China beat France 2.5-1.5 to sail back into sole lead with 17 points. Hungary are in second place with 16 points. India, Uzbekistan, Russia, Ukraine, France, Poland, Azerbaijan and USA are tied for the third position with 15 points.
China plays black against Poland and need 2.5 points for its maiden triumph in the Chess Olympiad since making a sensational debut in Buenos Aires 1978.
India need a win with black against Uzbekistan to reach 17 points and hope to win a medal. Both China and India are capable of holding final round nerves and winning. India is playing well and will have to maintain the undefeated record of the last six rounds.
Negi, Sethuraman and Adhiban drew while Sasikiran won. India has never lost a match which Negi has played. Lalith Babu was rested. India is the 19th seed and Germany is seed twelfth.
If the Open section of the Olympiad is awaiting perhaps a new champion, the Women’s Olympiad had its own surprises. Russian women who had won all nine rounds, sensationally lost to Ukraine to remain on 18 points. But China failed to capitalise and only featured in a 2-2 draw against Spain. This left China and Ukraine tied for the second-third places with 17 points.
India are tied for the tenth place with 14 points after a big 3.5-0.5 win over Switzerland. Harika, Eesha and Padmini won while Tania drew. Padmini Rout (7.5/8) now has the board prize gold if she does not spoil her showing in the final round.
Harika (7/9), Tania (4/8), Eesha (4.5/7), Mary Ann Gomes (5.5/8), Padmini (7.5/8). Padmini Rout is gaining about 35.8 Elo. In the final round, India faces sixth seed Romania.
Photos by GM.R.B.Ramesh and IA.Gopakumar