Hosts India 'A' came up with an inspired show to defeat Kazakhastan 3-1 in the eighth round of the Tata 14th IBCA Chess Olympiad for the Blind here Saturday.
On the top table, Russia drew Ukraine 2-2 and now lead the table with 13 match points. Ukraine, Germany and Spain shared the second spot with 12 match points. A further point behind were India 'A' at 11 match points and the hosts need a win Sunday to have a shot at the podium finish.
Swapanil Shah and Kishan Gangollli gave India 'A' a solid start, hoding Maklushov Serik and Bibikov Yuriy of Kazakhastan to draws. With a 7/8 performance, Gangolli has played the superb sheet anchor for India's chances in this Olympiad.
With 1-1 score on the cards, Darpan Inani and Makwana Ashvin exerted pressure on the Kazakhs. Darpan was the first to win, giving India 'A' an all important lead. Makwana then scored the win that kept India's chances for a medal alive.
Earlier, the Russians took a quick 2-2 draw, agreeing for peace on all the four boards against Ukraine. The draw kept the top seeds on the top of table with 13 match points.
Spain and Germany kept their medal chances alive scoring over Serbia and Venezuela respectively. The crucial penultimate round win takes Spain and Germany to the shared second spot along with Ukraine at 12 match points.
India 'B' scored a thumping 3.5 - .05 win over Denmark. Atul Kakade drew in the top board, while Darshan Patel, Shirish Patil and Gaurav Gadodia scored over Nielsen Henning, Bremer Erik and Hansen Martin Mandrup respectively. The facile victory will help India 'B' improve their final placing.
The results (Round 8): Russia (13) drew with Ukraine (12), Serbia (9) lost to Spain (12), Venezuela (9) lost to Germany (12), Kazakhastan (8) lost to India 'A' (11), Slovenia (8) lost to United Kingdom (10), Iran (8) bt Slovakia (6), South Africa (5) lost to Croatia (8), Columbia (8) bt The Netherlands (1), Turkey (7) bt France (4), Denmark (4) lost to India 'B' (7).