World Team Chess Championship: India beats Azerbaijan, goes down to Uzbekistan

India had mixed fortunes in the FIDE World Team Chess Championship here, posting a win over Azerbaijan in the third round in Pool B before being outclassed by Uzbekistan in the fourth.

A win by Vidit Santosh Gujrathi on the top board over the higher ranked Shakhriyar Mamedyarov helped India secure a 2.5-1.5 win over Azerbaijan (2662), the highest rated team in the Pool late on Monday.

Games on the other three boards were drawn. Nihal Sarin drew higher rated Teimour Radjabov while S L Narayanan and K Sasikiran too shared honours with Gadir Guseinov and Rauf Mamedov respectively.

However, the team came a cropper against the fancied Uzbekistan in the fourth round with only Narayanan managing a draw against Shamsiddin Vokhidov in a 0.5-3.5 defeat.
Gujrathi was beaten by lower ranked Nodirbek Yakubboev while Javokhir Sindarov beat the higher rated Sarin. Jakhongir Vakhidov completed the rout by beating Abhijeet Gupta in 51 moves.

It was a bad day for the US team as they lost both matches on Monday, to Uzbekistan (1.5-2.5) and host Israel by the same margin.

Only Uzbekistan is in the quarterfinals for sure from Pool B. The other five teams including India have chances of qualifying for the next stage. Much depends on the results in the fifth and final round where India takes on the USA.

Meanwhile in Pool A, China, France, and Ukraine are through to the quarterfinals. The last spot in the quarter-finals will go to either Spain or the Netherlands, with Spain favoured to get that spot.

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