Indian men lose to Ukraine, slid to 9th in World Team Chess

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Chess board
Ningbo (China), Jul 20: Indian men slid to the ninth position in the World Team Chess Championship after losing to Ukraine in the third round of the event here. Grandmaster Alexander Moiseenko guided Ukraine to a 2.5-1.5 win over India after defeating G N Gopal on the fourth board.

It turned out to be another average day for the Indians as they suffered their second consecutive defeat after bowing down to Azerbaijan in the previous round.

In the top three boards, P Harikrishna, K Sasikiran and Parimarjan Negi held on to their fort against higher-rated opponents but Gopal went down in a long-drawn affair to give Ukraine the victory by a minimal margin.

Holders Russia maintained their position at the top of the tables following a grueling 2-2 draw with Armenia.

The Russians, thus, took their tally to five points out of a possible six and kept their full point lead over Armenia, Israel and Ukraine, who all have four points apiece.

Four teams, Azerbaijan, United States, China and Hungary share the fifth spot with three points while India is now down to the ninth spot on just one point. Lowest ranked Egypt are last in the current standings after losing all the matches.

On what turned out to be an exciting day, Hungary made merry against Azerbaijan winning 2.5-1.5 thanks to a fine victory by highest rated woman player Judit Polgar against Rauf Mamedov. Hosts China, however, went down fighting to Israel, which is without their top player Boris Gelfand.

PTI

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