| sasikiran: In fine nick
Bled (Slovenia): Continuing their good showing, the Indian menís team scored a facile 3.5-0.5 win over Colombia in the second round of the 35th Chess Olympiad Sunday. The womenís team faced some difficulty, but beat Mongolia 2-1.
The men, who beat Wales earlier, are placed joint third with seven points, half-a-point behind leaders Cuba and Bulgaria.
Russia emerged leaders in the womenís section with six points after crushing Croatia on all three boards for their second 3-0 victory. Eight countries follow Russia with 5.5. India are joint 14th with 4.5.
GM Krishnan Sasikiran was the hero for India as he was the only one playing against a GM from Colombia on the top board. Playing black against the highly-rated Alonso Zapata, Sasikiran gave an excellent display of endgame prowess.
The players earlier blitzed the opening moves in a Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation and Sasikiran had little trouble in equalising in the ensuing middlegame. Guiding his pieces to the right squares, the Indian reached a rook and minor pieces endgame and snatched a couple of pawns before sealing victory.
Mongoliaís best player Bathuyag Mongontuul was fielded on the second board and Aarthie Ramaswamy played it safe though she managed a minuscule advantage out of the Sicilian Paulsen with white pieces. The draw was agreed to after 30 moves.
On the third board, Swati Ghate was lucky to salvage draw in a lost endgame against Tuvshintogs Batchimeg who played white. Swati missed some moves early in the game and was in trouble against a passed pawn in the centre.
In other important games, Garri Kasparov of Russia beat Aleksij Aleksandrov of Belarus comprehensively. For Russia, Alexander Grishchuk drew with Alexei Federov but Alexander Khalifman and Peter Svidler did the needful seal victory.
Surya starts well
If he was nervous before his maiden game at the Olympiad, double GM norm-holder Surya Sekhar Ganguly did not show it and outclassed IM Alzate Dario on the second board. Ganguly, playing white, kept things under control from the opening and capitalised on an erroneous sacrifice to score easily.
Back in the team after Dibyendu Barua opted out owing to health reasons, GM Pravin Thipsay beat Uribe Mauricio with white pieces on the fourth board.
The middlegame, arising out of a French Advance, was fought hard but Thipsay retained his advantage. A tactical trick won the Indian an exchange after which it was easy for him. This was the veteranís second consecutive victory.
The half-point was dropped on the third board where IM R.B. Ramesh was held by Miguel Mosquera. Playing black, Ramesh opted for his customary Sicilian Sveshnikov and reached a better position. Mosquera fought well to get the draw.
Among the women, WGM S. Vijayalakshmi also recorded her second straight win. Playing black on the top board against Bayanmonh Anhchimeg, Vijayalakshmi faced little problem.