The spectators thronged the Four Points by Sheraton in large number to witness the ninth round of the ongoing 44th Chess Olympiad. India A which lost to Armenia yesterday got back their rhythm to trounce Brazil with a 3-1 score. 11th seed India B Team held sixth seeded Azerbaijan to a 2-2 draw. India C defeated Paraguay 3-1.
In a sensational result overnight sole leader Armenia was trounced 3-1 by Uzbekistan. USA too shrugged off yesterday’s loss to win 2.5-1.5 against Greece.
Uzbekistan emerges as the sole leader in the Open section with 16 points and are followed by India B and Armenia with 15 points each. India A and Azerbaijan trail behind with 14 points each.
After a blistering 8/8, Dommaraju Gukesh was slowed down with a draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. The Queen’s Gambit Accepted game between Gukesh and Mamedyarov was a solid affair with neither conceding an inch. The fast and furious liquidation of pieces had the players entering an ending with a knight and four pawns each with no progress possible for either.
Arjun Erigaisi went the English way against Sevag Krikor Mekhitarian. It was interesting to see that after castling on the queen-side, Gukesh’s King took shelter on the Kingside while Mekhitarian castled late on the 25th turn Erigaisi won an exchange and needed 63 moves to force victory.
R Praggnanandhaa defeated Vasif Durarbayli and Nihal Sarin held Rauf Mamedov to a draw. Raunak Sadhwani ended on the losing side against Nijat Abasov. Nihan Sarin employed the French Defence against Rauf Mamedov and signed truce after 33 moves.
Sasikiran and Arjun Erigaisi scored victories for Team A while Pentala Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi were held to draws. This incidentally is Vidit’s 7th consecutive draw.
For India A Team. Sasikiran raked in the first point against Andre Diamant in a Nimzo Indian game. Things appeared to move sedately when a couple of consecutive wrong moves by the bishops on the 42nd and 43rd turn allowed Saikiran to gain advantage and convert it to victory on the 49th turn.
Sasikiran shrugged off yesterday’s debacle against Armenia where the team lost with a 1.5-2.5 score saying” Sometimes these things happen but we always try to overcome such difficulties as a team by going for long walk. I am happy that the team is cohesive, we always eat together and discuss a lot of things together.
In the Modern bishops Opening, Vidit Gujrathi and Alexandr Fier fought for 44 moves and signed peace only after they reached an opposite colour bishop ending with pawns.
Complete results for round 9 can be found at the official website for the Olympiad, https://chennai2022.fide.com/open-results.
Standings after round 9 can be found at