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Chess Olympiad: USA pips India to enter final

It was heartbreak for India, the joint world champions, in the semifinal of Fide Online Chess Olympiad as USA won blitz tiebreak 4.5 to 1.5.

India won the first round 4-1 but in a brilliant comeback, the USA cantered home 4-2 in the second round 4-2 forcing a crucial blitz tiebreak.

Chess Olympiad USA beat India in the semifinal of the Chess Olympiad.

In the tiebreak, only D Harika won against Nazi Naikidze while Nihal Sarin drew with Awonder Liang. P Harikrishna lost to Jeffery Xiong, B Adhiban to Roy Robson, Koneru Humy to Irina Krush and Vaishali R to Thalia Cervantes Landeiro.

In the first round, Viswanathan Anand beat Xiong, Vaishali R stunned Thalia, Harikrishna who is playing Prague outplayed Dariusz Swiercz and Harika who was playing from her home in Hyderabad defeated Anna Zatonskin to post a 4-1 win for India.

Nihal Sarin and Koneru Humpy drew their games over Liang and Irina, respectively, as India assured their win.

A nice tactical blow against Swiercz helped Harikrishna claim a full point for India. The first round ended as a massive defeat for the USA. Harika kept her poise while defending her game from a difficult position but capitalised on her rival’s blunder for the win.

While Nihal, a favourite of Anand, proved again that he is one of the world’s best blitz players with 6.5 out of 7.

In the first round, Viswanthan Anand beat Xiong.

In the second round, Anand lost to Xion, Vidit Gujrathi was beaten by Roy and R Praggnandhaaa was tamed by Liang while Hump and Vaishali drew their games against Irina and Cervantes as USA won with 4-2 win.

Russia, meanwhile, beat China 2-0 in the second semifinal.

In the quarterfinals India defeated Ukraine while Americans rallied to beat Kazakhstan after trailing in the first round while Russia upended the hopes of Hungry 7-5 and China smashed Poland 8.5-3.5 in the other quarter-final matches

The final will be played on Wednesday. Last year both India and Russia were declared joint winners.



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