Indian men lose to China in world team chess Championship

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Chess board
Ningbo (China) Jul 26: The Indian men succumbed to their fifth defeat in eight matches, bowing to China in the eighth and penultimate round of the World Team Chess Championship here.

On the top board, P Harikrishna found his nemesis in Wang Hao and on the second, K Sasikiran found a tough opponent in Wang Yue in a 1-3 loss after the other two games ended in draws.

Armenia closed in on the title with a hard-fought draw with Azerbaijan. After the first two boards ended in draws, both teams recorded a victory each, taking Armenia to an unassailable 13 points out of a possible 16. The Armenians now need just a draw in the final round match against Ukraine.

Meanwhile, holders Russia came hard at Israel and the day saw the first 4-0 whitewash in the premier team event. Israel are depleted due to the absence of their top star Boris Gelfand and it was evident as Russia won all the games.

In the other matches of the day Hungary had it easy against Egypt, winning 3-1, while Ukraine won by a minimal 2.5-1.5 margin against the United States.

With just the final round to come, Ukraine and China share the second spot on 11 points each, while Russia and Hungary are also in with a chance for a podium finish with 10 points in their kitty.

USA are clear sixth on eight points, a full point ahead of Azerbaijan. The Indian men share the eighth spot with Israel on five points while Egypt are yet to open the account.

The stage is set for a grand finale as Armenia take on Ukraine while China will meet Hungary in the decider. The formidable Russians are up against India. 

PTI

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