Chess Olympiad | Humpy wins Armageddon, helps India reach final

It was not an easy job for the Indian team as it lost the first round 2-4 before bouncing back strongly in the second with a crushing 4.5-1.5 win

India staged a magnificent comeback to defeat Poland and move into the final of the online Chess Olympiad on Saturday.

After the teams were level at the end of the two matches — in which there were six games apiece — the winner had to be decided by the Armageddon (tie-breaker).

Koneru Humpy, the World No. 2 from Vijayawada, had black pieces against Monika Socko. That meant she had four minutes to make her moves against her rival’s five.

But the player with black pieces only needed to draw, while the rival needed to win. Humpy did more than what was required, winning the Catalan game in 73 moves; she checkmated Socko, promoting her pawn to have two queens.

Humpy, the queen of Indian chess for long, justified her team’s faith in her. It proved quite opportune too, as the Indian victory came on the National Sports Day.

After losing the opening match 2-4, the Indians had to win the second. They did that in some style, with a 4.5-1.5 victory, with Viswanathan Anand, skipper Vidit Gujrathi, Humpy and Dronavalli Harika winning their games, more than making up for R. Praggnanandhaa’s loss and Vantika Agrawal’s draw.

In Sunday’s final, India will take on the winner of the second semifinal to be played between top seed Russia and the Unites States.

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