Round 4 of WYCO-2017 was amazingly set as top-seeded Team India Green faced 3rd seeded Team Russia and 2nd seeded Team Iran faced 4th ranked Team Armenia. Inauguration of Round 4 matches was done by Sanghvi InfoTech Pvt Ltd.’s Mr. Jigar Sanghvi.

Mr. Jigar Sanghvi and Mr. Jayesh Modi making the first move with other officials

The intensity of the Field of Play had reached a new level as the winner would be regarded as the strongest team in the championship. The results were not in the favour of India as they lost 3-1 to Russia. Aryan Chopra lost his second consecutive game against Lomasov Semen. Aryan is a confident young boy and this was obvious from his play today. Instead of settling for a draw after being unprepared for the opening, he went ahead to fight for his team. It seemed as if White was better. He had the bishop pair and also the space advantage, but Lomasov had things under control. It was all his preparation, the Russian IM confided after the game. Time became a crucial factor as in every position that the players reached Lomasov could keep the pressure, while Aryan had to make quick decisions, something that was not easy in that complex endgame. The mistakes did come and Semen was ready to capitalize on them.

Indian and Russian players getting ready

One more game that didn’t go in India’s favour was Lobanov – Praggnanandhaa. The game was played on well-known theoretical lines, but at some point, Black’s position just seemed full of weaknesses, while White was just developing one piece after another. After remaining undefeated in the first 3 rounds, Praggnanandha finally faced his first loss of the tournament.

P. Iniyan on the fourth board seemed to be on track for a victory. However, as is common in the Sicilian, things were not so simple. He won a pawn and had opened the white king, but had run out of ammunition and thus he drew the game.

With one loss and one draw, India needed a miracle on the remaining two boards. But things weren’t looking bright on them as well. Nihal Sarin was forced into a situation where he had to sacrifice a pawn. In fact, at some time he even got some better chances, but Nihal was not in the best possible form. He had to go into a rook endgame with a pawn down and it was a good defence and he emerged with a draw.

Nihal Sarin and Iniyan P. saved India from a staggering defeat with a draw each.

Now coming on to the next big game of the Round 4 which was between Armenia (4) and Iran (2). Armenia even though is ranked 4th, they faced a formidable opponent, Team Iran. It was a cake walk for Iran as they defeated Armenia 3-1. Team Uzbekistan (5) faced an easy opponent, Team Belarus (10) and managed to defeat them 3-1.

Iran and Armenian players facing off

Team Kazakhstan, India Blue and Sri Lanka whitewashed their opponents Thailand, South Africa A and Kenya B respectively.

Top 5 teams after the Round 4 are:

  1. Russia
  2. Iran
  3. Uzbekistan
  4. Kazakhstan
  5. Israel


Sources: ChessBase India