India bounce back to lead at Chess Olympiad

Riding on Krishnan Sasikiran and Arjun Erigaisi's victories, India A got back their rhythm to trounce Brazil by 3-1 in the ninth-round match of the open section at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu on Sunday.
Coming into the match after a loss to Armenia on Saturday, India A started off the game on a winning note when Sasikiran raked in the first point against Andre Diamant in a Nimzo Indian game. Things appeared to move sedately when a couple of consecutive wrong moves by the bishops on the 42nd and 43rd turn allowed Saikiran to gain advantage and convert it to victory on the 49th turn.
Erigaisi, on the other hand, went the English way against Sevag Krikor Mekhitarian. After the opponent castled late on the 25th turn, Erigaisi won an exchange and needed 63 moves to force victory.
The other two players, Pentala Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi were held to draws in their respective games.
Sasikiran shrugged off yesterday's debacle against Armenia, saying: "Sometimes these things happen but we always try to overcome such difficulties as a team by going for a long walk. I am happy that the team is cohesive, we always eat together and discuss a lot of things together."
India C also emerged victorious as they thrashed Paraguay by 3-1.
Meanwhile, R Praggnanandhaa defeated Vasif Durarbayli as India B held sixth-seeded Azerbaijan to a 2-2 draw. D Gukesh's winning run came to an end after he conceded his first draw of the event against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a well-fought game. Nihal Sarin was also held to a draw by Rauf Mamedov while Raunak Sadhwani ended on the losing side against Nijat Abasov.


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