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Victory for womenís team

Bled (Slovenia): India failed to get past Macedonia, seeded 33rd, and settled for a 2-2 draw in the 11th round of the 35th chess Olympiad.

Indian women brought some cheer to the camp as they held seventh seed Yugoslavia. But hopes for a medal slowly diminished for the Indian teams with only three more rounds remaining in this 14-round competition.

With 26 points, the menís team was placed at joint 17th position while the womenís team, with 19 points, was on 11th spot.

The race for the title heated up with Russia putting it across Germany 3.5-0.5 to widen their lead by two points over Hungary. Garri Kasparov led from the front and defeated German Christopher Lutz in a Sicilian Scheveningen with black pieces.

Hungary remained on second position with 30 points by defeating England 2.5-1.5 while Germany are third with 28.

In the eleventh round Sury Sekhar Ganguly drew Vladimir Georgiev, Abhijit Kunte held Nikola Mitkov. R.B. Ramesh beat Trajce Nedev while P. Harikrishna lost to Kiril Georgiev.

The title race in the womenís section sprang back to life as Poland defeated leaders Georgia by an incredible 2.5-0.5 margin. Despite the loss, Georgia (24.5) maintained their position atop the table but the lead margin receded to just a half point as China (24) scored a 2.5-0.5 victory over Romania.

S. Vijayalakshmi raised hopes of an individual medal with a victory over Natasa Bojkovic on the top board.

Sitting behind the black pieces, Vijayalakshmi faced an irregular opening and had little trouble in attaining equality.

The game took a decisive turn in the middle game as the Indian decided to force a result with penetration of pieces. Bojkovic was simply outplayed in the end. Aarthi Ramaswamy drew a quick game against Svetlana Prudnikova while Swati Ghate went down to Irina Chelushkina. (PTi)

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