As expected, joint defending champion India asserted its superiority in good measure against Hungary and Moldova but signed off with a surprise draw against Slovenia for a place in the quarterfinals of the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Friday.
An unbeaten India topped the 10-team Group ‘B’ with 16 match-points to face either Ukraine or Germany in the quarterfinals on September 13.
Hungary (15) was the other team to qualify from the group.
The 3-3 draw against Slovenia did serve as a wake-up call for the host but did not alter its position as the group-topper.
Earlier, India made sure of topping the group with a round to spare following a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Moldova in the eighth and penultimate round.
India saved its best performance of the day for a 4-2 victory over a previously-unbeaten third seed Hungary in the key seventh round clash.
Viswanathan Anand, K. Humpy and Nihal Sarin won with white pieces in fine style, P. Harikrishna lost while D. Harika and R. Vaishali drew.
Indians’ performances (points scored/games played): Viswanathan Anand (4/5), Vidit Gujrathi (3.5/5), P. Harikrishna (2.5/4), B. Adhiban (3.5/4), K. Humpy (3/5), D. Harika 1.5/3), Tania Sachdev (3.5/5), Bhakti Kulkarni (4/5), Nihal Sarin (4/4), R. Praggnanandhaa 3/5), R. Vaishali (4.5/6) and Savitha Shri (0.5/3).
Ninth round: Slovenia drew with India 3-3 (Luka Lenic lost to Vidit Gujrathi; Jure Skoberne drew with P. Harikrishna; Lara Janzelj drew with Tania Sachdev; Teja Vidic bt Bhakti Kulkarni; Jan Subelj lost to R. Praggnanandhaa; Zala Urh bt B. Savitha Shri); Moldova lost to Hungary 1-5; France drew with Azerbaijan 3-3; Sweden lost to Shenzhen China 2.5-3.5; Egypt lost to Belarus 1.5-4.5.
Eighth round: India bt Moldova 5-1 (Vidit Gujrathi bt Victor Bologan; B. Adhiban drew with Ivan Schitco; Tania Sachdev bt Paula-Alexandra Gitu; Bhakti Kulkarni bt Ana Petricenco; R. Praggnanandhaa bt Jegor Lashkin; B. Savitha Shri drew with Alina Mihailova); Hungary bt Sweden 4.5-1.5; Azerbaijan bt Egypt 4-2; Shenzhen China bt France 3.5-2.5; Belarus lost to Slovenia 2-4.
Seventh round: India bt Hungary 4-2 (Viswanathan Anand bt Viktor Erdos; P. Harikrishna lost to Imre Balog; K. Humpy bt Hoang Tranh Trang; D. Harika drew with Bianka Havanecz; Nihal Sarin bt Marcell Borthy; R. Vaishali drew with Kata Karacsonyi); Slovenia lost to Azerbaijan 1.5-4.5; France lost to Sweden 2-4; Moldova lost to Belarus 0.5-5.5; Egypt lost to Shenzhen China 4-2.
Final standings: 1. India (16 match-points), 2. Hungary (15), 3. Azerbaijan (12), 4-6. Shenzhen China, France and Slovenia (9 each), 7. Sweden (8), 8. Belarus (7), 9. Moldova (4), 10. Egypt (1).
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