Although the dice are heavily in favor of Team A, India C is capable of any upset. Team strategy will be a key aspect as it remains to be seen which players will be rested in the most crucial round. Team A has displayed perseverance not losing a single game but top guns like Vidit Gujrathi and Arjun Arigasi are not in firing form.
India B will take on Cuba, which has surprised many in the last round. D Gukesh has been in fine form for India B with 6/6 on the top board.
The final half promises intense and exciting battles and it is largely a question of which teams can rise to the occasion. Permutations and combinations have often gone awry in the last few rounds of the Olympiad, but one thing is clear, a performance above the average rating can only increase the chances of a medal.
India A and Armenia have emerged as the only leaders in the women’s and open categories, respectively, after six rounds of the 44th Chess Olympiad’s half-leg were completed.
In the women’s section, India A secured 12 points with six consecutive wins to justify their top seeding. Sixth seeded Azerbaijan and 20th seeded Romania are behind on 11-11 points.
The open section has been a roller coaster ride with 12th seed Armenia taking the only lead with a score of 12/12. The star-studded American team is in second place with 11 points while India A and India B with nine others have a total of 10 points.
The India A women’s team has been a cohesive unit, with each player rising to the occasion whenever the need for a win has been made. Now they will face strong teams like Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Poland and Armenia in the remaining five matches. All the India A team has to do is stick to their game plan and perform like they have done so far.
India B and India C have slipped down but can take solace from the fact that the last few rounds could turn out to be a dramatic turnaround if they focus on winning.
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