India off to winning start in chess

Indian men and women opened their campaign in the chess team event at the Asian Games with easy wins over Mongolia and Philippines respectively in Hangzhou on Friday. Both the teams won by identical 3.5-0.5 margins in the first round. The team event at the Asian Games is being played in the classical time format while the individual events were held in the rapid format. While the top-seeded Indian men’s team saw GM Arjun Erigaisi opening the scoring with a win over IM Amartuvshin Ganzorig of Mongolia with black pieces, Vidit S Gujrathi and R Praggnanandhaa added to the points. GM D Gukesh was, however, held to a draw on the top board by a lower-ranked GM Bilguun Sumiya. Praggnanandhaa defeated Batchuluun Tsegmed while Gujrathi got past Gan-Erdene Sugar. The second-seeded Chinese began with a 3-1 win over Philippines while a strong Uzbekistan beat Kyrgzstan by a similar scoreline. In the women’s section, R Vaishali and B Savitha Shri won their games to put India on the road to victory. IM Vantika Agrawal then drew with Jan Jodilyn Fronda with black pieces. D Harika then won by 3.5-0.5 margin against HM Janelle Mae Frayna.