Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran slipped in the final stages as India settled for a draw despite being at the threshold of victory against the USA in the fourth round of the 40th Chess Olympiad here.
Sasikiran missed out on a draw against world number seven Hikaru Nakamura towards the dying stages of the first time control which would have meant an excellent victory for the 13th seeded Indians against their fifth seed opponents.
The advantage was made possible by former world junior champion P. Harikrishna who pulled off a sensational victory against former world championship finalist Gata Kamsky on the second board.
Young Grandmasters Parimarjan Negi and Abhijeet Gupta put in their effort to draw with Alexander Onsichuk and Varuzhan Akobian respectively before the team settled at 2-2 after being close to victory.
The draw proved costly as Indians slipped to joint fifth with seven points out of a possible eight. The lead is now shared by top seed Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Hungary who all have a perfect eight points following four victories in as many matches.
For each match win here, two points are awarded while a draw entitles one point apiece to the teams involved.
While the men pitched in and the draw was still a good result, the sixth-seeded Indian eves fumbled big time and could only manage a 2-2 draw against the 19th seeded Serbian women in the women’s Olympiad being held simultaneously.
International Master Tania Sachdev saved the blushes on an otherwise bad day as Eesha Karavade lost to lower rated Maria Manakova, while D. Harika survived some anxious moments before holding out to a draw with Natasa Bojkovic on the top board.