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India thrash Germany in Chess Olympiad

India improved their position a great deal by thrashing Germany with 7 rounds still to come in the 13-round event.

india Updated: May 28, 2006 19:13 IST

Aided by brilliant victories by former World Junior champion P Harikrishna and National Champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly, the second seed Indian men romped home with an excellent 3-1 victory over Germany in the sixth round of the Chess Olympiad in Italy.

India improved their position a great deal by thrashing the stronger opposition with seven rounds still to come in the 13-round event where they will next play Ukraine.

It would be an important round for the Indians and they will have to tread cautiously against the team that beat them 2.5-1.5 in the last Olympiad.

On a day that witnessed a shocking loss for the top seeded Russians at the hands of Holland by a 1.5-2.5 margin, third seed Armenia made most of the opportunities to emerge as the new sole leader after defeating Uzbekistan.

In the crucial Russia-Holland match, Russian National Champion Sergey Rublevsky failed to hold his ground against Dutchman Friso Nijboer and the remaining games ended in draws giving the Dutch team a victory they will cherish for a long time.

Armenia did fine by scoring a much-needed 2.5-1.5 victory over Uzbekistan by notching a win on the second board and drawing the rest of the games.

As things stand now, Armenia is at the top on 18 points where they are followed by Holland while Russia and Belarus is next in line 17 points each. The fifth place is shared by India, defending champion Ukraine, USA and Sweden with 16.5 points each.

For India, World number two Viswanathan Anand and next highest ranked Indian player Krishnan Sasikiran achieved draws on the top two boards while Harikrishna and Ganguly scored fantastic victories over Christopher Lutz and Alexander Graf respectively to make sure of a grand victory after a few let downs in the earlier rounds.

For the records, on the top board Viswanathan Anand could not break the ice against a solid Arkadij Naiditsch while Sasikiran's attempt to complicate against Artur Jussopow also did not materialise.

Harikrishna was brilliance personified as he made mince meat of Lutz from a seemingly innocuous position arising out of an Anti Marshall opening.

Playing black, Harikrishna equalised easily and pressed for an advantage despite trading of pieces at regular intervals. It was in the endgame that Lutz was tricked into a tactical melee that resulted in a piece plus position for Harikrishna.

As the pawn exchanges were imminent thereafter Harikrishna was left with no pawns but his pieces did the damage resulting in a checkmating web for the German. The game lasted 74 moves.

Ganguly was also in top form against Graf and won an engrossing game with white pieces. It was another Ruy Lopez of the where Ganguly threw everything at his opponent king to wreck havoc.

"It was a nice game. I am happy I am playing well here but I am not so much excited yet because in the last Olympiad we were doing well but then we could not win a medal, this time I want to concentrate on my games and bring a medal to India," Ganguly said after the game.

First Published: May 28, 2006 19:13 IST