44th Chess Olympiad: Hosts dominate Day 1 as all six Indian teams make the winning start

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Indicated by:| Edited by: |Source: ANI |Updated: July 30, 2022, 07:08 AM IST

Six Indian teams, including three in the women’s section, started their campaigns brilliantly by taking comfortable victories on the opening day of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, Chennai on Friday.

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Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur opened the opening day of the historic event by taking the first step in Vidit Gujrathi’s board. Five-time World Champion Viswanathan Anand, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, All India Chess Federation President Sanjay Kapoor and Olympiad Director Bharat Singh Chauhan also attended the occasion.

16-year-old Raunak Sadhwani kicked off the campaign for India B with a solid start in the Open section by taking a stunning win against Abdulrahman M. Later, Nihal Sarin, D Gukesh, B Adhiban also won comfortably as India B defeated the United Arab Emirates Emirates 4-0.

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The 16-year-old from Nagpur, who played his first Olympiad, completed the victory with the white pieces in a Sicilian defense play of 41 moves. Enjoying space advantage, Sadhwani broke through to the kingside after exchanging small pieces and dragged the king into a checkmate net, with the queen and rooks combining efficiently.

“I’m happy to start with a win. This is my first Olympiad. It feels great to play a good game,” Sadhwani said after the win.

“We want to play chess well. I think the US has the strongest line-up, but if we play chess well, we can even beat them. We have to take all teams seriously, because every player can play well. This is the Olympiad,” he said. added.

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Meanwhile, Indian A and India C also emerged victorious in their opening round matches of the open section. Vidit Gujrathi, Arjun Erigaisi, Narayanan SL and Sasikaran Krishnan contributed to India A’s 4-0 against Zimbabwe, while SP Sethuraman, Abhijeet Gupta, Murali Karthikeyan and Abhimanyu Puranik ensured an unbeaten run for the hosts in the open section and India C led to a 4-0 win against South Sudan.

The top seeded USA also started their campaign with a win over Angola, but Levon Aronian had to fight for a draw in a lesser position against the much lower-rated IM David Silva. Norway, with halftime star player Magnus Carlsen, also scored 4-0 against Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Indian women also produced dominant performances as all three teams knocked out their respective opponents by identical 4-0 margins.

Koneru Humpy led India A’s strong showing against Tajikistan in the women’s section when she defeated N Antoneva. Tania Sachdev, R Vaishali and Bhakti Kulkarni also impressed in India A’s win.

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Placed 16th, the India C team was the first to finish their match and win with an anticipated and anticipated 4-0 win over Hong Kong. Eesha Karavade, PV Nandhidhaa, M Varshini Sahiti and Pratyusha Bodda participated in the competition for India C.

Vantika Agrawal, Soumya Swaminathan, Mary Ann Gomes and Divya Deshmukh led India B to victory against Wales.

A total of 184 teams out of 188 teams started their campaign on Friday in this 11 Round Swiss League tournament where India’s three teams compete in the open section.

Each team consists of five players with four players lined up for the round and one player resting. For the first time in history, India will host this prestigious event that will be played until August 10.

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