Millennium Post

Negi saves the draw against Vietnam

Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi saved the day for Indian men as they settled for a 2-2 draw with Vietnam in the seventh round of the Asian Nations Chess Cup here on Thursday.

Negi's victory over Nguyen Van Huy came long after P Harikrishna was shocked by Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son and Abhijeet Gupta had drawn with Dao Thein Hai. On the top board, K Sasikiran also drew his game with Le Quang Liem.

It was very hard work for Negi given the team situation but the recently-crowned Asian champion kept his cool in a seemingly equal position arising out of a king pawn game.

Negi eventually got a passed pawn on the queen side and pushed it with perfect backing to ensure that the team remained unbeaten so far in the championship. Negi won in 39 moves.

China-1, meanwhile, almost assured itself of the gold medal with another professional performance. The 4-0 victory against Indonesia put the Chinese in command on 13 points in all with just two rounds to come in the premier Asian team event.

Indian men maintained their second spot on 11 points and they are followed by China-2 and Kazakhstan on nine points apiece. As things stand, a minimal victory is what the Indians will need in the remaining two rounds to ensure the Silver medal. Gold looks distant with Chinese men in terrific form.

In the women's championship being held simultaneously, the Indian eves won 3.5-0.5 against lowly placed Singapore.

Dropping a half point on this occasion was an off-form Eesha Karavade while the trio of Tania Sachdev, Mary Ann Gomes and Padmini Rout scored regulation victories on lower ranked opponents.

China-1 maintain pole position in this section and scored a 3-1 victory over Vietnam. For the records, this was the seventh victory in as many matches for China-1 and a stern test awaits India in the next round when the two top teams clash. As of now, India stands clear second on 12 points, two points ahead of China-2.

Harikrishna loss was quite shocking for the team. Playing the black side of a Nimzo Indian, the Indian faced an early attack on his king and was forced to part with a piece. Truong Son made no mistakes thereafter and liquidated to a won endgame.

Complete results round 7 open (team points in bracket): China-1 (13) beat Indonesia (6) 4-0; India (11) drew with Vietnam (8); Kazakhstan (9) drew with China-2 (9) 2-2; Singapore (8) beat Korea (5) 3-1; Mongolia (8) beat Yemen (5) 3.5-0.5; Hong Kong (2) lost to Iraq (7) 1-3; Chinese Taipei (0) lost to Iran (7) 0-4.

Indian results: K Sasikiran drew with Le Quang Liem; Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son beat P Harikrishna; Parimarjan Negi beat Nguyen Van Huy; Dao Thein Hai drew with Abhijeet Gupta.

Women: Vietnam (4) lost to China-1 (14) 1-3; Mongolia (3) lost to Kazakhstan (5) 1.5-2.5; Indonesia (5) lost to China-2 (10) 0-4; Iran (6) drew with China-3 (9); Singapore (2) lost to India (12) 0.5-3.5.

Indian results: Anjela Khegay drew with Eesha Karavade; Tania Sachdev beat Liu Yang Hazel; Tay Li Jin Jeslin lost to Mary Ann Gomes; Padmini Rout beat Wei Yi Victoria Chan.
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