Indian men grab 16th place; women finish 15th

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Dresden, Germany, Nov 26 (UNI) Guided by P Harikrishna and Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Indian men finished 16th, sealing a 3-1 victory over Slovakia in the final round, while the eves had to settle with a 15th place finish in the 32nd Chess Olympiad, which concluded here.

While Harikrishna and Ganguly pushed the team towards the victory, getting the better of Luboimir Ftacnik and Tomas Petrik repectively, Krishnan Sasikiran and G N Gopal played out draws.

However, all the Indian men except for Sandipan Chanda showed some excellent skills to raise their rating from their outing here and the overall performance of a joint 12th finish after starting as seeded 13th is better than last time when they finished 30th after starting out as the second seeds.

The Indian women would have finished better but D Harika's miscalculation in the final round game against Elina Sedina forced her to the backfoot.

While the other three boards ended in draws, Harika's loss proved costly as the 11th seed team ended joint 13th on 14 match points.

The final was a nail-biting affair, where Armenian men retained the crown in the open section after beating China by a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin. Petrosian provided the much needed breakthrough for the Armenian Tigran on the fourth board against Li Chao, while the remaining three games ended in draws.

Israel was in the runners up stand after they bounced back to beat Holland 2.5-1.5, the US men trounced second seed Ukraine 3.5-0.5 to claim the third spot.

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