Third seeded France defeated three-time and defending Olympiad champions Armenia 2.5-1.5 in the highlight of the third round of the 41st Chess Olympiad at Tromso in Norway.
The decisive game was won by Laurent Fressinet on board three against Sergei Movsesian. Vachier-Lagrave (2768) drew Aronian, Bacrot (2720) drew Sargissian and Romain Edouard (2680) drew Akopian in the other boards. France is seed three and Armenia four.
In a well-fought battle, the Netherlands overcame USA 2.5-1.5 with Nakamura held to a draw by Anish Giri on the top board. L’Ami and Van Kampen beat Kamsky and Akobian in the white boards for Holland.
India drew Italy 2-2 with Sethuraman winning on board two against Alberto David. Sasikiran and Adhiban drew on the bottom boards. Fabiano Caruana defeated Negi on the top board.
Eleven teams including Russia, France, China and Uzbekistan are leading with maximum six match points. India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Kazakhstan are tied with others for the twelfth to 31st places with five match points.
Indian teams were held to 2-2 draws in the third round. India, seed 19 making a 2-2 draw against Italy, seed 20 is a normal result in Open section while fifth seed India held to a 2-2 by Kazakhstan, seed 17 in women is an upset. India had defeated them 3-1 in the World Women’s Team Championship at Astana last year. Since holding the elite women’s event in Astana, Kazakh women have gained plenty of experience.
All the Indians were higher rated on all four boards. Harika and Tania drew in the top boards, Eesha lost on board three and Padmini saved India from the rout.
After Abdumalik Zhansaya scored a quick attacking win over Eesha with a knight sacrifice, India were down 1-2. Padmini Rout’s endgame magic helped India bridge the deficit after 80 long moves. Padmini moved her queen knight 20 times in attack, defence, captures, blocking in a single game and won. Padmini and Mary Ann Gomes (rested in round three) are on full 2/2 score and this should help India in the bottom boards.
India face Serbia in women and Cuba in open section. Our women should win and men should hope for an upset against the 13th seed team.
Three Asian teams, top seed China, Iran and Indonesia are among the 12 leaders on six match points after three rounds. India are tied for 13-22 with five match points. Other teams include Philippines and Kazakhstan.
The highlight of the Women’s Olympiad was the upset win of Indonesia over sixth seed Romania by 2.5-1.5. All the Indonesians were lower on the Elo rating scale. Iran was too strong for Bosnia & Herzegovina blanking them 4-0.
Eight rounds remain to be played in this team tournament that will conclude on August 14, 2014.