India on top after Round 6

India took sole control of the top spot in the Open Section of the Baku Chess Olympiad defeating the Netherlands 2.5-1.5. Ukraine, the third unbeaten team after 5 rounds went down to the USA by the same margin, paving the way for an India-USA clash at the top of the draw on Round 7.
This is the first time in the 89 year history of the Olympiad that an Indian team led the field at any time during the tournament. Grandmaster B Adhiban beat Erwin L’Ami on Board 2 while the rest drew their games.

Sri Lanka held higher rated Madagascar to a 2-2 draw. Ramesh Weerwardena lost on the top board while skipper Rajendra Kalugampitiya squandered a winning position to leave it to Akhila Kavinda and Yasas Lamawansa to fashion a draw for the team by winning their respective games. Awhile defeated International Master Alain Ranaivoharaisoa while Lamawansa had the better of Faniry Rajaonarison. Lamawansa has won 4 games in a row so far.

In the Women’s Section, the Sri Lanka team went down 1.5-2.5 to IPCA (International Physically Disabled Chess Association). Dasani Mendis fought hard to secure a draw while 12 year old Tharushi Niklesha in yet another display of tactical prowess secured the sole win for her team. Despite the loss the young team still has good chances of winning the Gold in their category.

In the women’s section, the top two teams Ukraine and Russia drew their match, as did China (against Romania).

Malinda Seneviratne reporting from Baku

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