Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], July 31 (ANI): As in the ongoing 44th Chess Olympiad, the Indian team in several categories are holding strong positions against many tournament favourites, Swedish chess player Anna Cramling said that everyone playing for India is rated over 2600 and she has never seen anything like that.
"India is very strong, especially in the open section, everyone playing for India is rated over 2600. I have never seen anything like that, its incredible," Anna Cramling told ANI.
The Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur inaugurated the opening day of the historic event by making the first move on Vidit Gujrathi's board on Friday. Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, All India Chess Federation President Sanjay Kapoor and Olympiad Director Bharat Singh Chauhan were also present on the occasion.
On the second day of the prestigious event, favourites fumbled in the second round of the women's section at the 44th Chess Olympiad as former world champion Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine suffered defeat against Turkey's Ekaterina Atalik while India's Koneru Humpy was forced to split point against much lower rated Marisa Zuriel of Argentina in Mamallapuram, Chennai on Saturday.
Besides these individual upsets, the Top-20 seeds remained unscathed. All three Indian women's teams won their matches and extended their winning run at the prestigious event.
Azerbaijan, Armenia and Romania were the teams in the Top-20 ranking which whitewashed their opponents with a 4-0 score. This event is an 11-round Swiss league one where four players are fielded for each round.
R Vaishali, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni's victories helped India A team to score a 3.5-0.5 victory against Argentina.
The Argentine Zuriel opted for the volatile Benko Gambit against Humpy who skipped the popular continuation without accepting the gambit. A blocked position with little headway had Humpy settling for a draw after 44 moves with each having a queen, a rook and opposite colour bishops with identical numbers of pawns.
Sachdev, who was stretched for more than 100 moves on Friday, scored a quick victory against Anapaola in a Grunfeld game which lasted 36 moves after her queen, rook and knight set up a checkmating net.
India B team defeated Latvia 3.5-0.5 with Vantika Agrawal, Soumya Swaminathan and Mary Ann Gomes emerging victorious and Padmini Rout conceding a draw to Nellija Maklakova.
India C team, on the other hand, beat Singapore with a 3-1 score with Eesha Karavade and PV Nandhidhaa scoring victories while Pratyusha Bodda and Vasnawala Vishwa were held to draws.
Nandhidhaa was involved in a Pirc Defence game against Emmanuelle Mei-En and crafted a neat victory with strongly placed pieces and an extra bishop. The game lasted 34 moves.
The ongoing Olympiad, taking place in India for the first time ever, will be played till August 10. (ANI)