India and China take gold medals in Asian Nations Cup

The Indian men’s team won the 20-country Asian Nations Cup Chess Team Championship while the Chinese women retained their title in the tournament organized by the UAE Chess Federation under the auspices of the Asian Chess Federation at the Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan hotel.

The Indian team is composed of GMs B. Adhiban on top board, S.P. Sethuraman, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, Krishnan Sasikiran and Deep Sengupta and captained by GM R.B. Ramesh.

India clinched the title with a decisive last round 3:1 victory over Vietnam on wins by Sethuraman and Sasikiran and draws by Adhiban and Vidit. India scored a total of 17 match points, two points ahead of defending champion China which blanked host UAE-1 by 4:0. Kazakhstan edged Mongolia 2.5-1.5 to finish in third place with 14 match points.

The champion Indian team, from left, captain GMs R.B. Ramesh, Krishnan Sasikiran, Deep Sengupta, S.P. Sethuraman, B. Adhiban and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi

The champion Indian team, from left, captain GMs R.B. Ramesh, Krishnan Sasikiran, Deep Sengupta, S.P. Sethuraman, B. Adhiban and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi

In other matches, Iran shut out Bangladesh 4:0, Uzbekistan outclassed Jordan 4:0, Iraq drew 2:2 with Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka drew 2:2 with Oman, Afghanistan drew 2:2 with Nepal, Lebanon blanked UAE-3 by 4:0, Tajikistan drew 2:2 with UAE-2 and Palestine beat Kuwait 3.5-0.5

Iran placed fourth with 12 match points followed by Uzbekistan with 11, UAE-1, Mongolia and Bangladesh with 10 each, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Oman with 9 points each, Sri Lanka and Jordan with 8, Palestine and UAE-2 with 7, Nepal and Kuwait with 5, Tajikistan with 3 and UAE-3 with 2. A team earned two match points for a team win and one match point for a draw. Game points over four boards per round break the tie.

Individual board gold medalists are GM Bu Xiangzhi of China on board 1 by performance rating of 2765, Wang Yue of China on board 2, Vidit of India on board 3, child prodigy 13-year-old Alireza Firouzja of iran on board 4 with a high rating performance of 2644 and GM Zhou Jianchao of China on board 5.

Defending champion China women’s team caught up to win their division with 15 match points, barely ahead of Uzbekistan in second place with 14 match points and Kazakhstan in third place with 13 match points. The Indian women finished with 12 points followed by Vietnam 11, Mongolia 10, Iran 9, UAE-2 with 4, Sri Lanka 2 and UAE-1 with 1 point.

China blanked UAE-1 by 4:0 to keep ahead of Uzbekistan which beat Sri Lanka 3:1. Kazakhstan could only manage a 2:2 draw with Vietnam. India drew 2:2 with Iran while Mongolia blanked UAE-2 by 4:0.

Individual women board gold medalists are Ju Wenjun, Zhao Xue of China on boards 1 and 2, respectively, Irina Gevorgyan of Uzbekistan on board 3, Swaminathan Soumya of India on board 4 and Guo Qi of China on board 5.

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