India B, the young Darlings of the Chess World created the biggest and most sensational upset of the 44th Chess Olympiad today at the Four Point by Sheraton, routing the top seed and star-studded USA Team with a whopping 3-1 score. This is a wonderful effort by Team B comprising of four dangerous debutants still in their teens.
Raunak Sadhwani also played brilliantly to defeat much higher-rated Leinier Perez Dominguez. While Nihal Sarin and R Praggnanandhaa held much higher rated Levon Aronian and Wesley So, respectively, with almost effortless ease.
16-year-old Dommaraju Gukesh set the 44th Chess Olympiad on fire with a stunning 8/8 performance, today accounting for former World Championship Challenger Fabiano Caruana in a critical game on the top board for India B. This is one of the most sensational debuts in the history of the Olympiad, comparable only to former World Champion.
Vladimir Kramnik’s record set in 1992 of a 8.5/9, clocking a 2958 rating performance. Till yesterday, Gukesh had clocked a 3300 plus performance which would enhance after today’s display.
Meanwhile, the top Indian Team in the fray, second seed India A, lost 1.5-2.5 to 12th seed Armenia. Incidentally, Armenia had defeated the India B Team in the 6th round. Gabriel Sargissian defeated Pentala Harikrishna on the top board while Vidit Gujrathi, Arjun Erigaisi and S L Narayanan drew their games.
Armenia maintains their sole leader status with 15 points, and has India B and Uzbekistan follow close second with 14 points each.
India C Team, seeded 16th, were shocked by 1-3 by Peru ranked 37th.
“From the beginning, we had all intention of figuring in the top 3, and with Gukesh going such great guns, it very much looks a possibility,” said a thrilled R B Ramesh, the coach of the Team.
“Fabiano is my favourite player, and it was a pleasure to be pitted against him. Initially, I was caught in the opening as it went along unfamiliar lines for me. I was slightly worse. After he played a dubious move, I got back into the game” It was a stupendous play by the youngster as by the time he clinched the game on the 45th turn, he had three extra pieces on the board, indicating the dominance.
Praggnanandhaa adopted the Sicilian Dragon against Wesley So, and in the middlegame stages, it did appear that Praggg was on the better side. After the liquidation of pieces, the players settled for a draw after 33moves.
Complete results for round 8 can be found at the official website for the Olympiad, https://chennai2022.fide.com/women-results.
Standings after round 8 can be found at