DOHA, Dec 13: Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran’s winning streak was halted by his Iranian opponent in the seventh round but that did not stop the Indian juggernaut’s relentless progress towards gold in team chess event at the Asian Games.
After Sasikiran split point with Ehsan Ghaem Maghami on the first board, India clinched 2.5-0.5 victory, their seventh successive win in the event, to aggregate 18.5 points out of a possible 21 to keep their 4.5 point lead intact last night.
Pentala Harikrishna and Koneru Humpy capitalised on their rivals’ errors to win their respective games and ensured India stayed on road to glory, virtually assuring it the gold medal, with only two more rounds remaining in the nine-round event.
China were the sole team at second spot with 14 points in the kitty while Indonesia and Kazakhstan were third with 13 points apiece.
Iran, Uzbekistan, Qatar and Indonesia followed the lead bunch with 12 each. Barring a dramatic reversal in form, the team gold medal looked certain to be packed and delivered to the Indian team.
Iran, coached by former world title challenger Nigel Short, had good chances but inexperience on their part as well as India’s ability to seize their chances saw the match end in a one-sided manner.
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