India close in on chess gold

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:38 IST

K Sasikiran's winning streak was halted when he was held to a draw but that did not stop India's winning run in the Asian Games team chess tournament.

India close in on chess gold

Doha:

Krishnan Sasikiran's winning streak was halted when he was held to a draw by Ehsan Ghaem Maghami but that did not stop India's winning run in the Asian Games team chess tournament. India beat Iran 2.5-0.5 for their seventh successive win and carried their total to 18.5 points, and kept their 4.5-point lead intact. Pentala Harikrishna and Koneru Humpy capitalised on their rivals' errors to win their respective games and ensured India stayed on road to victory. India leads with 18.5 points and they are followed by China at 14. Indonesia and Kazakhstan had 13 each, while Iran, Uzbekistan, Qatar and Indonesia have 12 each. Barring a dramatic reversal in form over the last three rounds, the team gold medal as well be packed and delivered to the Indian team. Iran coached by former World title challenger Nigel Short, who recently played the Commonwealth championships in India, had good chances but inexperience on their part as well as India's ability to seize their chances saw the match end ina one-sided manner. Ehsan did a fine job holding Saskiran, who had won his previous six matches in the team event. On the second board, Ehsan Moradiabadi did well in a Torre attack, but then lost his way and ended up losing a game, he could have drawn. Humpy was also up against a fairly well-played game from Atousa Pourkashiyan, but the latter went hopelessly wrong. She was winning at one stage, but then messed up the whole game and ended losing. As Iranian team's English coach, Short, said, "I am very disappointed. Atousa played white and initially she played very well. In fact she was completely winning if you ask me. But then she hopelessly wrong. At one stage I still hoped shemight salvage a draw. But no, she lost on time in the end, but that was a mere formality." Harikrishna on his win, added, "It went quite smoothly. We played the Torre opening and my opponent just did not know what to do. It is not that he made any blunders, he just messed about, I won quickly." India now has two more round and it is unthinkable that a 4.5 points lead can be squandered. India has already won the women's individual gold through Humpy, for whom it will be a second gold if India wins the team title as expected. (PTI)



Topics : Chess
Related Articles
Magnus Carlsen Wins Third World Chess Championship
Magnus Carlsen Wins Third World Chess Championship
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergei Karyakin: Battle For World Chess Crown Heads to Tiebreaker
Magnus Carlsen vs Sergei Karyakin: Battle For World Chess Crown Heads to Tiebreaker
Chess: An Ancient Game Which Goes Back to India
Chess: An Ancient Game Which Goes Back to India
Show Comments
Advertisement