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World Team Chess: India to play Spain in bronze-medal match

SL Narayanan's heroics not enough as India went down 1-3 to Uzbekistan in the semifinal of World Team Chess.

SL Narayanan Chess Olympiad

SL Narayanan (Source: Chesscom/Twitter)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 25 Nov 2022 5:58 AM GMT

The Indian team at the 2022 World Team Chess Championship, on Thursday, lost to Uzbekistan 1-3 in the semifinals despite GM SL Narayanan's heroics. They will now face Spain in the third-place playoff for the bronze medal.

While India held the Uzbeks for a 2-2 draw in the first round of the match, they lost 2.5-1.5 in the second round to surrender the semifinal clash. They had earlier reached the semifinals after a win over France in blitz tie-breaks.

In the first round of the semifinal, Vidit Gujrathi had to play out of his skin to secure a draw against a lower-rated Nodirbek Yakubboev on the first board and the young Nihal Sarin too followed the suit against Javokhir Sindarov.

SL Narayanan gave India the edge with a win on the third board, but a loss for SP Sethuraman in the fourth meant that the first round ended in a 2-2 tie.

While Narayanan shone once again in the second round with a win over Shamsiddin Vokhidov, losses from Vidit Gujrathi and Nihal Sarin in the top two boards meant that India were forced into the bronze-medal contest. Krishnan Sasikiran, who replaced Sethuraman for the second round, was held for a draw.

India now has a chance to equalise their best-ever performance in the World Team Chess Championships when they play Spain in the bronze medal knockout on Friday. They had previously won bronze way back in 2009, with Sasikiran being a part of the team.

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