India defeats France in tie-breaker to reach World Team Chess C'ship semi-finals
The Indian chess team survived a late scare from France to reach the semi-finals of the World team chess championship.
India survived a late comeback from France and defeated them in the blitz tie-break 2.5-1.5 to reach the semi-finals of the ongoing World team chess championship 2022 in Jerusalem. India will face Uzbekistan in the semi-finals who defeated Ukraine in both rounds to reach the semi-finals.
India started the quarter-finals with a big win as Vidit Gujrathi defeated reigning World blitz champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. S.L. Narayanan continued his fine streak in the pool games and defeated Laurence Fressinet. The rest two games were a draw and India won the first round with a score of 3-1.
In the second round, French players faced a daunting task but they came back stronger to defeat India 3-1 and equalize the tie. Maxim Vachier-Lagrave and Laurent Fressinet had their revenge as they defeated Vidit Gujrathi and SL Narayanan with the other two games being drawn.
With the game moving into the blitz tie-break, India secured a thrilling win as Nihal Sarin and SL Narayanan prevailed over tough opposition.
Nihal Sarin and S L Narayanan did the star turn with victories over Jules Moussard and Laurent Fressinet respectively. Vidit Gujrathi, India's top player, held the top French star Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to a draw in 45 moves while the experienced K Sasikiran was beaten by Maxime Lagarde in 55 moves but the wins by Sarin and Narayanan did the trick.
India will face a tough challenge from Uzbekistan in the semi-finals. Uzbekistan has already defeated India in the fourth round with a score of 3.5-0.5. Chess Olympiad champion Nordirbek Yakubboev says that his team intends to win gold in Jerusalem, just as it did in Chennai at the 2022 Olympiad.