India win Asian Nations Cup team chess title

Chennai, April 6 (IANS) India won the Asian Nations Cup chess team championship defeating Vietnam with a convincing 3-1 margin in the final round in Abu Dhabi, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) said on Wednesday.

India finished splendidly well against Vietnam with Grandmasters S.P. Sethuraman and K. Sasikiran winning on second and fourth boards while B. Adhiban and Vidit Santosh Gujarathi drew on first and third boards.

India lifted the Asian Nations Cup with 17 points while defending champion and top seed China finished second around with 15 points in the final round on Tuesday, AICF said in a statement.

Kazakhstan and Iran took the third and fourth places, respectively, in the nine round tournament.

The Indian team were in good form to beat all the teams-barring Mongolia enroute to the title. The Indian team drew with Mongolia, AICF said.

This is the third time that India is winning this event. They won at Esfahan, Iran in 2005 and Kolkata 2009 previously when China did not participate on both occasions.

“Therefore this victory over China is something which will be remembered for long,” the statement added.

The title triumph follows the Indian’s team’s bronze medal at 2014 Chess Olympiad held in Norway. It was for the first time Indian team won an Olympiad medal.

On the distaff side, top seed China won the Asian Nations Cup Women event with 15 points. Uzbekistan was second with 14 and Kazakhstan third with 13 points.

In the last round Vietnam drew Kazakhstan and offered India a podium opportunity.

For this, India had to beat Iran but a draw pushed second seeded India to take the fourth place with 12 points.

India drew with China and Iran, lost to Vietnam and Kazakhstan by a 1-2 margin.

In the final round against Iran, Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Soumya Swaminathan lost but WGM Bhakti Kulkarni won, GM Harika Dronavalli and IM Padmini Rout drew.

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