2020 Online Chess Olympiad: Juniors R Praggnanandhaa and Divya Deshmukh lead India’s indictments against China as the team advance to the quarterfinals #NEWS
India’s young guns GM R Praggnanandhaa and WIM Divya Deshmukh secured key wins to put the team at the top of Pool A overturning China.
Rampant India dominated the third day of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad against the pool favorites and the second highest team in the competition, China (4-2), after storming Germany and Georgia into the quarter-finals of the tournament on Sunday.
In the highly anticipated competition against China, India’s young guns GM R Praggnanandhaa and WIM Divya Deshmukh secured important victories to put the team at the top of Pool A and overthrow China.
India took first place in Pool A with 17 points and 39.5 board points and was the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals.
India started the seventh round, the first round of the day, on a positive note, pushing Georgia aside 4-2. GM Pentala Harikrishna, Praggnanandhaa and Deshmukh each recorded 1 point with their respective wins, while former world champions Viswanathan Anand and GM Humpy Koneru each took half a point to ensure India got the upper hand in the round.
Harika Dronavalli lost her tie to Nino Batsiashvili, which turned out to be the only loss in the day’s 18 games, reflecting India’s superiority.
After a break in the seventh round, India’s captain GM Vidit Gujarati won a challenging match with the black stones against the higher-ranking German Rasmus Svane in the eighth round. IM Bhakti Kulkarni and WIM Vantika Agrawal also held their own to claim victories.
GM Nihal Sarin lost their advantage to IM Roven Vogel but managed to score a draw, as did Harika and Harikrishna who helped India win round 4.5-1.5 against Germany.
In the most famous match of the day for the men, Vidit faced World No 3 Ding Liren. The Indian skipper was able to hold the fort and secure a tie that earned 0.5 points. While World No 3 Humpy faced World No 1 Hou Yifan in the women’s clashes, the Indian ace defied the challenge and played a draw.
Harikrishna and Harika, who both played in all three games of the day, shared the booty with their higher-rated Chinese counterparts Yu Yangyi and World No 2 Ju Wenjun.
The Indian teens, 15-year-old Praggnanandhaa and 14-year-old Deshmukh, took a glimpse of their lost promise by beating GM Liu Yan and WGM Zhu Jiner and turning their strained relationships into triumphs in round nine of the season day.
Praggnanandhaa was the star from India’s perspective after winning all of his five games to date, while Deshmukh has won four of the five games she has played in, for one thing, she could have held a 100 percent record as well.
The pool winner advances directly to the quarter-finals, while the second and third-placed teams from each of the four pools switch to the preliminary phase of the knockout game.
India will play the quarter-finals on August 28th.
Round 7: India defeated Georgia 4-2 (Viswanathan Anand defeated Levan Pantsulaia; P Harikrishna defeated Luka Paichadze; Konery Humpy drew with Meri Arabidze; D Harika lost to Nino Batsiashvili; R Praggnanandhaa defeated Nikolozi Kacharava; Divya Deshmukh defeated Diana).
Round 8: India defeated Germany with 4.5-1.5 (Vidit Gujrathi defeated Rasmus Svane; Harikrishna moved in with Matthias Bluebaum, D Harika with Lara Schulze, Bhakti Kulkarni with Filiz Osmanodja, Nihal Sarin with Roven Vogel and Vantika Agrwal with Jana Schneider).
Round 9: India beat China 4-2 (Vidit Gujrathi drew against Ding Liren; Harikrishna against Yangyi Yu; Humpy against Hou Yifan; D Harika against Wenjun Ju; R Praggnanandhaa against Yan Liu; Divya Deshmukh against Jiner Zhu).
Pool A: 1. India (17 points), 2. China (16), 3. Germany (11), 4. Iran (9), 5. and 6. Mongolia and Georgia (8), 7. Indonesia (8), 8. Uzbekistan (7), 9. Vietnam (6), 10. Zimbabwe (0).
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