Hyderabad: India went down to USA in a hard fought semifinal encounter to end up securing the bronze medal in the ongoing FIDE Online Chess Olympiad on Tuesday. India won the first duel 5-1, outclassing USA on all the boards. Anand led from the front with a classy victory over Jeffery Xiong, while Harikrishna, Harika and Vaishali also notched up wins with excellent games. Humpy and Nihal signed the peace treaty with their opponents to secure a 5-1 victory.
However, USA staged a strong comeback. Anand lost his first and only game of the tournament against Jeffery Xiong with the Black pieces quite early in the round. The rest of the team followed the suit. Vidit lost against Ray Robson, whilst Praggnandhaa was defeated by Awonder, Liang. India’s sole victory came from Harika’s board, who won every single game in the knockout.
The match went into the blitz tie-break where India got promising positions in all the games from the opening. However, Harikrishna unexpectedly blundered a rook and lost against Jeffery Xiong. Adhiban lost against Ray Robson. Humpy lost against Irina Krush, whilst Vaishali lost on time in a game where she was about to checkmate her opponent. India lost 1.5-4.5 in the blitz tie-break.