Indian men trounce Austria, women go down to Hungary

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Dresden, Germany, Nov 18 (UNI) Indian men made a strong comeback to trounce Austria 3-1, while their female compatriots went down to Hungary in the fifth round of the 32nd Chess Olympiad here.

Former World Junior champion P Harikrishna and National Champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly propelled India to take their points tally to eight points out of a possible 10.

As many as six teams emerged as joint leaders with nine points in the 11-round event after the summit clash between Germany and Russia ended in a 2-2 draw with peace being the order of the day on all four boards.

This draw allowed England, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Armenia get level with the two overnight leaders after all these four teams scored victories over Italy, Norway, Hungary and the Netherlands respectively.

However, in the women's section, India had a poor day as world junior girls' champion D Harika failed to get going and the 11th seeded Indians surrendered 1.5-2.5 to eighth seeded Hungarians.

The loss dragged the Indian girls to joint 14th spot with seven points.

While Tania Sachdev, Swati Ghate and Mary Ann Gomes played out draws against Hoang Thanh Trang, Eldiko Madl and Veronica Schneider respectively, Nisha Mohota failed to overcome a strong challenge from Vajda Szidonia on the second board.

China emerged as the sole leader in the women's section after a comprehensive 3.5-0.5 win over Poland on the top board.

In the second spot it was Hungary with nine points while 11 teams including top seed Russia have eight points and share the third spot jointly.

Amongst the Indian men P Harikrishna continued with his winning streak and beat Stefan Kindermann of Austria with black pieces against the Italian opening.

Equalising early with a recently popular variation, Harikrishna had outsmarted his rival to finish the game in 43 moves.

Ganguly took just 34 moves to give India an early lead at outclassing Valery Atlas who employed the Sicilian Scheveningen as black.

However, the top board duel between Krishnan Sasikiran and Markus Ragger ended in a draw while GN Gopal also had to remain content with a draw on the fourth board against Martin Neubauer.

The sixth round will resume after the rest day today.

UNI XC RAR RKM UCS1752

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