After a day of rest on Saturday, a crucial sixth round duel is waiting to happen on Sunday between the fifth-seeded Indian open team and the second-seeded Russia at the 43rd World Chess Olympiad underway at Georgia.
“Everyone (all players) has rested well and preparing well for the big match with Russia tomorrow,” Indian team captain and coach R.B. Ramesh told IANS.
The Sunday fight against Russia will be second important tie for India after it lost to the top seeded USA in the fourth round.
About the medal prospects as the Olympiad is nearly halfway now Ramesh said: “Medal prospects will be clear only in last two rounds or so. It is too early to discuss about that now.”
He said Iran, Poland, France and Czech Republic are the other teams that are to be watched apart from the top five seeded teams — USA, Russia, China, Azerbaijan and India.
Ironically, Russia lost to 11th seeded Poland in the fourth round.
Both India and Russia have eight points each – a round win gets two points, draw one point and zero points in case of a loss.
The Russian team will be from Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Ian Nepomniachtchi, and Nikita Vitiugov.
On the other hand, the Indian team will be chosen from former World Champion V. Anand, P. Harikrishna, Vidit Santhosh Gujrathi, B.Adhiban and K.Sasikiran.
About the quick draw by Sasikiran and Gujrathi in their games against the US Ramesh said: “Sasikiran felt he didn’t get much out of the opening. Vidit drew in an equal position after a tough fight against a strong opponent, which is very good.”
“Players have to play according to the position on the board and they did that. It is easy to pass critical comments without understanding what is going on and sadly any do that,” Ramesh added.
In the women’s section fifth seeded India will be fighting it out against 10th seeded USA on the first table.
It will be interesting to see whether the Indian eves would avenge the defeat of Indian open team by the USA.