From the Indian perspective, India 2, and especially Gukesh with this perfect score, stand out. And the great thing about this as well, while everyone is buzzing about this, some other great performances have gone unnoticed. It’s not like India 1 is an anonymity. But people have been focused on these guys (from India 2). Yesterday we realised how strong Harikrishna’s performance has been. He made a couple of draws and people took their eyes off him. But he’s on a very strong +3 score. He is gaining a lot of rating points here.
India 3 also has the same number of points. So, all our three teams are bunched together. Different routes there, but that’s great. I haven’t mentioned Armenia. You know, in the end, you have to give them credit. They’re a balanced team, They take a hit on this board and that board, but in the end they pull through. It was their formula before, even when they were slightly top-heavy with Levon (Aronian). It was the fact that the full team knew how to play. That’s why they have won the Olympiad so many times. And that stands out.
Coming to our women’s teams, India 1 is leading with Humpy on +2, Tania and Vaishali are both +4 and Bhakti on +3. That is really an amazingly coordinated performance. So full credit to all our teams and their trainers, who are working very hard.
You know, I had a chance to meet with them yesterday before the Bermuda Party and hang out with Srinath and the India 1 team. Then I met Ramesh, then Shyam Sundar Kept in touch with Tejas Bakre. So you know all our teams are doing very well. It’s slightly confusing because you have so many of our teams doing well, you don’t even know which one to pull for.
India 1 will play India 3 in the seventh round and let’s see how it goes. Amongst the girls, the other two teams are on nine points which is behind India 1 at 12 points, but still within distance of many of the other top teams. So hopefully, they all benefit from the rest day.
Obviously, you can’t not mention Armenia which is leading by two points and the US as well which has shown that despite the fact that none of the players are exactly peeking, they are still able to pull through. Fabiano was able to win yesterday his first game, pulled it through against a tough Iranian team and got the US team over.
So as for Norway, well Magnus is doing what he normally does, but the others haven’t exactly. You know the timing is sometimes off. Instead of balancing each other out, sometimes two or three of them have a bad day at the same time. I think the rest of the team is struggling a bit but it’s obviously nice for them because they can depend on Magnus, who is almost invincible on Board 1.
You know, this is an Olympiad that has kind of a competitive balance. So every round is exciting.
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