Fourth-seeds Indian women chess players concluded to a 2-2 draw by Georgia in the opening round of the World Team Chess Championship at Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia on Saturday.

Grandmaster D Harika celebrated victory on the top board against GM N Dzagnidze of Georgia. Esha Karawade and Padmini Rout played out a draw against Lela Javakhishvili and Bela Khotenashvili respectively. However, S Vijayalakshmi lost a winning endgame Nino Batsiashvili and that decided a draw between India and Georgia in the opener.

While the women’s team reached a draw, the men’s team lost in a shocking 1.5-2.5 match against Poland. Even the highest rated Indian Vidit Gujrathi provided a crucial full point on the top board against Radoslav Wojtaszek.

The lead faltered as B Adhiban and National champion Murali Karthikeyan lost to Duda Jan Krzysztof and Kacper Pioren respectively while Parimarjan Negi played out a draw against Bartel Mateusz. Poland is lower ranked in chess than Indian and it is a sort of a blow to suffer defeat from the country as Indian men try to better their bronze medal performance in World Chess Championship.

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The Championship happens like a round-robin competition between 10 best teams in the world based on continental and Olympiad rankings. The Indian men and women team made the cut because of their tremendous performance in the last chess Olympiad at Baku in 2016 by finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

The women’s chess had their most awe-inspiring game between Russia and China which Russia won by a huge 3-1 margin.

After Round one open, India drew with Georgia, USA lost to Ukraine 1.5-2.5; Poland beat Azerbaijan 3.5-0.5; Egypt lost to Vietnam 0-4; Russia beat China 3-1. And in the men’s section, Indian lost to Poland, China beat Belarus 3.5-0.5; USA beat Norway 2.5-1.5; Egypt lost to Russia 0.5- 3.5; Turkey drew with Urkaine 2-2.

Picture credit- Examveda