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India finish fifth after suffering serial defeats with China, Russia in Online Nations Cup

After the round-robin phase of the FIDE-Chess.com Online Nations Cup, India loses to title rivals China and Russia by a margin of 1.5-2.5 in the ninth and 10th round respectively on Saturday.

After beating the top seeds 2.5-1.5 in the final round, the Superfinal will be held between China and Russia on Sunday.

India’s Vidit Gujrathi was beaten by Vladislav Artemiev while Dmitry Andreikin was tamed B Adhiban in the final round against Russia.

P Harikrishna held Sergey Karjakin to a draw, while Rapid world champion Koneru Humpy scored a win over Olga Girya to reduce the margin of defeat and finish with two victories and no losses.

China tops the league table with 17 match points and 25.5 board points, further followed by USA (13 MPs, 22 BPs). The third spot is taken by Europe (13 MPs, 21.5 BPs) followed by Russia (8 MPs, 19 BPs) and India (5 MPs, 17.5 BPs), on the other hand, Rest of the World languished at the bottom with 4 MPs and 14.5 BPs.

Earlier in the ninth round, with former world champion Viswanathan Anand resting, the Indian team arranged to hold their own against the favourites before Yu Yangyi subdued Adhiban with black pieces to attain another victory in the game.

Gujrathi (Elo 2636), playing on the top board, held higher-ranked Wang Hao (Elo 2750) to a draw. Harikrishna, playing with black pieces, forced a draw against Wei Yi and D Harika shared the honours against the formidable Hou Yifan.

Russia and Rest of the World finalized for a 2-2 conclusion and a win by Nana Dzagnidze stopped in draws after three other games while Europe won against the USA by 2.5-1.5 in the other ninth round matches.

Two leading teams will give tough competition for the title in the “Superfinal” following a double round-robin format.

Three men and a woman are the representers of involved four boards in all matches.

The rapid time control was 25 minutes plus a 10-second increment per move.