India take 1-0 lead over Armenia in Friendship chess

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New Delhi, Nov 30 (UNI) The Indian junior team defeated Armenia 2.5-1.5 in the first match of the Friendship chess series here today.

The Indians, slightly inferior in terms of average ratings, got a 1-0 lead in the three match contest and the Armenians are expected to hit back harder in the next match tomorrow.

World Junior Champion Abhijeet Gupta and B Adhiban turned out to be the winners amongst the Indians, defeating 2006 world junior champion Zaven Andriasian and Samvel Ter Sahakyan respectively on the top and fourth boards while Grand Master S Arun Prasad played out a draw with GM Hrant Melkumyan to ensure an Indian victory after G Rohti was outdone by GM Avetik Grigoryan on the third board.

Displaying the form he possessed in his world junior triumph, Abhijeet was in his elements as he bruised and squeezed the defenses of Andriasian on the top board in a Sicilian defense game.

The Armenian was at sea once Abhijeet got his attack rolling on the queen side against white's king and even though Andriasian sacrificed an exchange the Indian was simply remourseless. The dye was cast on the 29th move when Abhijeet initiated the final assault and nine moves later India scored first victory in the match.

Adhiban played true to his attacking style in a Sicilian Scheveningen defense game where Sahakyan was outdone in the middle game. Taking a cue from an earlier played game, Adhiban went for a less played system on the 17th move and Sahakyan took a lot of time to determine his course of action.

The shocker from Adhiban came on move 25th when he simply sacrificed a rook to rip open black's king side. Sahakyan had little chances after that as white slowly built on his attack and the material deficit was of little consequence. The game lasted just 34 moves.

While the Indians went 2-0 at this stage with two more games to come, Grigoryan was quite relentless against G Rohit who missed a tactical finesse in a queens Indian defense game and was tamed in quick time thereafter.

Meanwhile on the second board, Arun Prasad had an equal position as white, also arising out of a queen's Indian and he had little difficulty in securing the necessary half point for an Indian victory.

There will be three matches in all played over 12 games. The winner will be the team winning two matches and Indians seems well on course now with a fine victory in the first match itself.

UNI AB PY BD2110

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