Round 3 of the 44th Chess Olympiad concluded today. And the results of the the round get more interesting than the previous ones. What were the highlights of the round? Read on to find out.
Hosts benefit from the extra team(s)
Hosts India are allowed to field multiple teams as a privilege of being the hosts. India fielded 3 teams in the open category. Thus, they had a clear advantage in terms of winning probabilities. That advantage became clearer today, as India 2 remains the only unbeaten team of the 44th Chess Olympiad so far. The team of young Indians performed another clean sweep, this time of Switzerland, defeating them 4-0. With this victory, India 2 is the only team in the Open as well as the Women’s category to have won all 12 games in the 3 total rounds thus far. The game on board 3 between GM R Praggnanandhaa and GM Yannick Pelletier lasted for 67 moves, being the longest game of the match.
On the other hand, India 1 defeated 25th seeded Greece by a margin of 3-1. While GM Pentala Harikrishna and GM Arjun Erigaisi won their respective games, GM Vidit Gujrathi and GM K Sasikiran drew their games. With this victory, India 1 is ranked 6th on the points table, while India 2 tops the charts. Following India 1, India 3 also recorded a 3-1 win against Iceland, ranking them at 18th position.
US yet to have a perfect match
Top-seeded US team was hailed as the favorite of the tournament. However, the team is yet to have a perfect 4-0 match in the tournament, with 3 rounds already finished. In Round 3, US defeated Georgia 3-1, with 2 victories and 2 draws. US team has scored 9/12 points, and currently ranks 20th, after all three Indian teams. They are yet to pick up momentum, and look troubled with each passing round.
Brazil braves the Spanish team
The Brazilian Team, led by Chess Gaja founder GrandMaster Priyadharshan Kannapan, braved the 4th seeded Spanish Team in round 3. With two draws and two loses, the Brazilian Team lost 1-3 to the Spaniards. GM Priyadharshan, in an interview with me, revealed that this tough challenge and the subsequent result was well-anticipated.
Bulgaria dominates Women’s category
15th seeded Bulgaria leads the points table after 3 rounds in the Women’s category, with 11.5/12 points. It is closely followed by 2nd seeded Ukraine. 1st seed India are currently 5th on the points table, with 10.5 points. India 1 defeated 21st seeded England 3-1 in round 3, with two draws and two victories. Ukraine did a clean sweep with a 4-0 win over Slovakia.
The results of round 3 have provided more clarity, as the teams try to hold onto their respective positions, or try to improve. As we head into day 4, and the match-ups become increasingly difficult, further surprises await the teams and the audience.