Victories for Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni paved the way for India’s 2.5-1.5 victory over formidable Armenia in the third round league encounter in Group A of the FIDE World women’s team chess championship at Sitges, Spain, on Tuesday.
The hard-fought victory assured India of a place in the quarterfinals. Currently, India holds the second spot, behind Russia, in the six-nation group. Late on Monday, R. Vaishali’s victory helped India beat host Spain after the other three boards ended as draws.
India faces favourite Russia and lowly-ranked France in the last two league matches. Four teams each from Group A and B will qualify to the quarterfinals.
Third round: Group A: India bt Armenia 2.5-1.5 (D. Harika drew with Elina Danielian; R. Vaishali lost to Lilit Mkrtchian; Tania Sachdev bt Anna M. Sargsyan; Bhakti Kulkarni bt Susanna Gaboyan); Azerbaijan lost to Russia 0.5-3.5; Spain bt France 2.5-1.5 .
Group B: Ukraine drew with Poland 2-2; Kazakhstan bt FIDE Americas 2.5-1.5; Germany lost to Georgia 0.5-3.5.
Second round: Group A: Spain lost to India 1.5-2.5 (Ana Matnadze drew with D. Harika; Sabrina Vega Gutierrez lost to R. Vaishali; Maria Eizaguerri drew with Bhakti Kulkarni; Marta Garcia Martin drew with Mary Ann Gomes); Russia bt France 3.5-0.5; Armenia drew with
Group B: FIDE Americas lost to Ukraine 0.5-3.5; Georgia drew with Kazakhstan 2-2; Poland lost to Germany 1.5-2.5.