Chess Olympiad: USA leaves India behind to enter final

NEW DELHI: It was a heartbreak for India in the semifinal of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad as the USA won the blitz tiebreak 4.5 to 1.5. The Indian side led by Viswanathan Anand won the first round 5-1 but in a brilliant comeback, the USA beat India on a tiebreak to advance to the final.

Victories for the country came from Viswanathan Anand, P Harikrishna, D Harika and R Vaishali. Anand, playing with white pieces, got the better of Jeffery Xiong . The clash of these two ended in a knight endgame and the five-times world champion showed his calibre to seal the deal, in 57 moves.

Harikrishna who is playing from his base in Prague, outplayed Dariusz Swiercz and Harika who was playing from her home in Hyderabad defeated Anna Zatonskin to post a 4-1 win for India. Nihal Sarin and Koneru Humpy drew their games over Liang and Irina, respectively, as India assured their win.

Beforehand, in the quarterfinals, India defeated Ukraine while Americans rallied to beat Kazakhstan after trailing in the first round while Russia upended the hopes of Hungry 7-5 and China smashed Poland 8.5-3.5 in the other quarter-final matches.

Earlier, in the day, Russia had defeated China in the other semifinal. Russia won the match 3.5-2.5 before sealing China’s fate by winning the second clash 4-2. Therefore, the final would be played between USA and Russia on Wednesday.

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