India Wins Asian Nations Cup
By Arvind Aaron
India won the Asian Nations Cup beating Vietnam 3-1 in the final round at Novotel Hotel in Abu Dhabi on April 5. India reached 17 points to win by a two point difference over World and Olympiad champions China. Top seed China finished second with 15 points beating UAE 4-0. Kazakhstan and Iran took the third and fourth places.
This is the third time that India are winning this event. They won at Esfahan, Iran in 2005 and Kolkata 2009 previously. India drew Mongolia and beat the rest of the teams in a 22-team nine round Swiss on four boards with one reserve.
Indian player scores: Adhiban 6.5/9, Sethuraman 5/8, Vidit Gujrathi 7/9, Sasikiran 5/7 and Deep Sengupta 2½/3.
India had won a team bronze medal at the 2014 Olympiad in Norway and China were gold medal winners. Later this year the two nations will battle for supremacy in the Baku Olympiad with other nations like Russia, Ukraine etc. India finished splendidly well on a high. Sethuraman who played all decisive games and Sasikiran won on the second and fourth boards. Adhiban and Vidit drew on top and third boards.
Top seed China won the Asian Nations Cup Women event with 15 points. Uzbekistan was second with 14 and Kazakhstan third with 13 points.
Vietnam drew Kazakhstan and offered India a podium opportunity. For this, India had to beat Iran but a draw pushed second seeded India to take fourth place with 12 points. India drew China, Iran, lost to Vietnam and Kazakhstan by 1½-2½ and beat the rest.
In the final round against Iran, Soumya lost but Bhakti won, Harika and Padmini drew.
Indian women scores: Harika 4½/7, Tania 5/8, Padmini 5/8, Soumya Swaminathan 7/9 and Bhakti Kulkarni 4/4.