Mamallapuram: Indian women’s team scripted history at the 44th Chess Olympiad by winning the country’s first-ever medal in the women’s section while men claimed their second bronze medal of the prestigious event on Tuesday.
India A team, comprising Koneru Humpy, R Vaishali, Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni, secured bronze medal in the women’s section after a 1-3 loss to USA in the final round match. Humpy and Vaishali drew their games while Tania Sachdev and Bhakti Kulkarni ended up losing their games.
The first women’s Olympiad was held in 1957. Since 1976, women and open sections have been held together.
In the open section, the young India B team, which impressed everyone with their brilliant performances throughout the event, handed the country its second bronze medal after thrashing Germany 3-1.
India B had D Gukesh leading from the top and the start, scoring a fantastic 9/11, Nihal Sarin chipped in with a superb 7.5/10, Praggnanandhaa scoring well with 6.5/9 and Raunak Sadhwani also scoring a valuable 5.5/8.
It was India’s second bronze medal in the open section at the Olympiad after winning it before in 2014.
“Overall, it has been a very enjoyable event. I didn’t expect us to perform so well but it could have been better. We could have had a great chance at a gold medal if I had won or drawn my game yesterday. But these things happen. Immediately after the game I was devastated and our mentor (Viswanathan Anand) put me in a better frame of mind by saying that these things happen in sport and he too was at the receiving end himself,” said Gukesh, who played all 11 games and tallied 9 points.