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World Women’s Team 2021 R1-2: India makes a steady start

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/09/2021

Indian women made a good start at FIDE World Women's Team Championship 2021. They drew the first round 2-2 against Azerbaijan and won the second round match against Spain 1.5-2.5. Currently they are in shared second place along with Armenia with 3.0/4. Four teams from each pool will advance to the Knockout stages. Harika scored 1.5/2, Tania lost her first round game, Bhakti made 0.5/2 and Mary drew her only game in the second round. India will face Armenia in the third round and CFR Team (Russia) in the fourth round. Round 3 starts today at 3 p.m. CET (6:30 p.m. IST). Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

Vaishali ensures India's victory over Spain

IM Vaishali has won both of her games on the first day. The second round win made sure India beat Spain as the remaining three games ended in draws.

Team India | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

The tournament logo | Photo: FIDE

Round 1: Azerbaijan - India: 2-2

India had decisive games on all four boards. Harika and Vaishali won, Tania and Bhakti lost their respective games. GM Harika Dronavalli defeated Azerbaijan no.1 woman IM Gunay Mammadzada who made a tactical error which cost her a pawn.

Mammadzada - Harika

Position after 20.c5

White could have played c5 after taking on c6 first. A direct 20.c5 allowed Black to go for 20...cxd5 21.cxb6 Qxc2. Black gained a pawn and eventually the control of the c-file too. Harika converted her advantage with ease.

Harika made a winning start | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

IM Gulnar Mammadova blundered one pawn too many, which gave IM Vaishali a decisive advantage in the queen and rook major piece endgame.

Vaishali scored an emphatic victory | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

WGM Ulviyya Fataliyeva (AZE) outplayed IM Tania Sachdev after the opening.

Tania Sachdev lost to Ulviyya Fataliyeva | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

IM Bhakti Kulkarni made a positional inaccuracy which completely turned things in her opponent WGM Turkan Mamedjarova's favor.

Azerbaijan drew with India 2-2

Round 2: Spain - India: 1.5-2.5

Harika, Bhakti and Mary drew their respective games. Vaishali scored the sole win for the team which made sure India beat Spain. Harika got herself a completely winning position in the final moments of the endgame when her opponent IM Ana Matnadze made a huge miscalculation.

Matnadze - Harika

Position after 31.Qe8

White's threat is to access the back-rank and create trouble for the black king. To prevent 32.Rd8, Black had to play 31...Rad6 and then b4 after trading a rook. However, Black continued 31...b4 which allowed White to play 32.Rd8 and now Black had no choice but to give perpetual check 32...Qxf2+ 33.Kh1 Qf3 and the game was drawn after repeating the same moves.

Vaishali scored an important victory over IM Sabrina Vega Gutierrez.

Bhakti got multiple opportunities to win in the endgame against FM Maria Eizaguerri Floris, however she missed them all and the game eventually ended in a draw.

Eizaguerri Floris escaped with a draw | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

WGM Mary Ann Gomes drew her game against IM Marta Garcia Martin. It could have gone either way.

Mary drew with Marta | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

Spain lost to India 1.5-2.5

The tournament hall | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE

Alternate view of the tournament hall | Photo: Niki Riga/FIDE
FIDE Women World Team Championships 2021 | India vs Azerbaijan | Video: ChessBase India
World Women's Team Chess Championship 2021 - Round 1 and 2 Live Commentary by GM Stuart Conquest and WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili | Video: FIDE

Replay Round 1 and 2 games of India


Pool Stage: Monday 27th September

Round 1 - 3:00 p.m. CET (6:30 p.m. IST)

Round 2 - 6:00 p.m. CET (9:30 p.m. IST)


Tuesday 28th September

Round 3 - 3:00 p.m. CET (6:30 p.m. IST)

Round 4 - 6:00 p.m. CET (9:30 p.m. IST)


Wednesday 29th September

Round 5 - 3:00 p.m. CET (6:30 p.m. IST)


Quarterfinals: Thursday 30th September

Match 1 - 3:00 p.m. CET (6:30 p.m. IST)

Match 2 - 6:00 p.m. CET (9:30 p.m. IST)

Tie-breaks - 8:30 p.m. CET (Friday 12:00 a.m. IST)


Semifinals: Friday 1st October

Match 1 - 3:00 p.m. CET (6:30 p.m. IST)

Match 2 - 6:00 p.m. CET (9:30 p.m. IST)

Tie-breaks - 8:30 p.m. CET (Friday 12:00 a.m. IST)


Finals Saturday 2nd October

Match 1 - 3:00 p.m. CET (6:30 p.m. IST)

Match 2 - 6:00 p.m. CET (9:30 p.m. IST)

Tie-breaks - 8:30 p.m. CET (Friday 12:00 a.m. IST)

Time Control

The time control is 45 minutes + 10 seconds increment for the entire game, for tie-breaks - 3 minutes + 2 seconds increment.


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