With a twist in the tail, Indian open chess team finalised for Olympiad

September 25 2018

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With a twist in the tail, the fixed board order for the Indian open chess Olympiad team has been finalised, as per the information gleaned from the team pairings uploaded in the official website.

In the first round against El Salvador, the Indian open team has rested five time World Champion Grand Master (GM) V. Anand.

With other players moving up, Sasikiran played on the fourth board.

The Indian women's team has rested Harika Dronavalli in the first round against New Zealand.

Contrary to the earlier expectation that the players would sit in the descending order of their ELO rating points, the Indian team's non-playing Captain R.B.Ramesh made a change with regard to the fourth board.

As per the final board order, former World Champion and current World No. 10 GM Viswanathan Anand (ELO rating of 2,771) will be playing on the first board, World No. 19 GM Pentala Harikrishna (ELO 2,743) on the second board and World No. 37 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (ELO 2,711) on the third board.

The surprise switch is on the fourth board where World No. 73 GM B. Adhiban (ELO 2,668) instead of higher rated World No. 71 GM K.Sasikaran (ELO 2,672).

The fixed board order is the order in which the team players would occupy the playing table. Once it is finalised and submitted to the Olympiad organisors, it could not be changed.

The playing team consists of four players and the fifth player will be the reserve.

"Sasikiran is a solid positional player and is akin to what Rahul Dravid in cricket. But Adhiban is the equivalent of flamboyant cricket opener K.Srikkanth," a senior chess player and a coach told IANS preferring anonymity.

He said normally the opponents on the lower boards are lower rated and slightly weaker.

"One of the strategies is to have an aggressive player at the lower end than to have a solid player who would play steadily," he said.

He also said during the initial rounds Anand may be rested as a result the other players would move up on the board order leaving the fourth board for Sasikiran.

"This way there will be a strong Indian team," he added.

An email to Indian team captain Ramesh on the team's board order remain unacknowledged.

In the women's team, the board order has been finalised as the player's rating.

On the top board Koneru Humpy would play and followed by Harika Dronavalli, Tania Sachdev, Karavade Eesha and Padmini Rout.

In the first round against New Zealand, the Indian team rested Harika and consequently Padmini played on the fourth board.

The opening ceremony was held at Batumi on Sunday. India's Anand and Georgia's nana Dzagnidze drew the lots.

The colors for the first round for the top seeded teams first board were decided by white and black pearls hidden inside the seashells.

Anand picked the white pearl, signaling USA, the top seeded team in the open section will play with white pieces on its top board while Nana Dzagnidze picked the black pearl for the top seeded Russian team in the women's section to play with black pieces on the top board.

  • Source
  • IANS