United States Defeats India in Marquee Matchup of 4th Round at 2018 Chess Olympiad

The fourth round of the 2018 Chess Olympiad saw the best matchup of the Olympiad so far, the United States (rated 2777) squaring off against India (rated 2723), and Team USA managed to get the victory by a score of 2.5-1.5, winning on the first board and drawing the other three. The United States improves to four wins in four rounds, with seven rounds to go.

The first board brought the only decisive game of the round between Team USA and India, when World Title Challenger Fabiano Caruana defeated former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand in 26 moves. Anand was a piece down and decided to resign instead of trying to play out the lost position. On the second board, Wesley So had a quiet game after winning his first three rounds, drawing against Pentala Harikrishna in 32 moves. Board 3 Hikaru Nakamura drew Vidit Santosh Gujrathi in 35 moves, and with this being the final game of the round to finish, clinched the win for the Americans. Board 4 Sam Shankland made a quick draw in 21 moves against Krishnan Sasikiran by three-fold repetition. Ray Robson was again rested for the second consecutive day.

Four rounds are done at the 43rd Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia, and there are only 9 teams with a perfect score of 4 wins. Those teams are: United States, France, Israel, China, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Poland, Armenia, and Czech Republic.

The biggest upset of the day was Team Russia (rated 2767) losing to Team Poland (rated 2669) 2.5 to 1.5. Russia was ahead by a point in this match after winning on board 2, but losses on board 3 and 4 led to the big upset. Vladimir Kramnik, who has been relegated to the third board at this Olympiad, was checkmated on the board after blundering in an even position. Dmitry Jakovenko resigned in a position where it was clear he would be checkmated with a bishop and a knight, sealing the win for the young Polish team.

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