D Harika and Mary Ann Gomes played key roles as India beat Kazakhstan 1.5-0.5 in the quarter-finals of the FIDE World Women’s Team Chess Championship in Sitges, Spain.
After the first match had ended in a draw (2-2), India won the second 2.5-1.5 to secure passage into the next round.
India will take on Georgia in the two-match semi-finals later on Friday while the formidable Russia meet Ukraine in the other last four clash.
India’s No.1 player Harika scored a crucial win against Zhansaya Abdumalik on the top board in the second match after having drawn in the first match while Gomes was impressive in beating Gulmira Dauletova 2.5-1.5 in the second match late on Thursday.
Gomes, who had beaten her Kazakh opponent in the first round too, continued her impressive form to post a 57-move win in the second.
Tania Sachdev, who came in for Bhakti Kulkarni in the second match, went down to Meruert Kamalidenova.
R Vaishali, playing on second board, settled for a draw against Dinara Saduakassova after having shared honours in the first round also.
In the first match, Bhakti Kulkarni’s loss to Kamalidenova on the third board was neutralised by Gomes on the fourth, with a fine 85-move win over Dauletova and helping India eke out a 2-2 draw.
In the other quarter-finals, Russia beat FIDE Americas 2-0, Ukraine edged past Armenia 2-1 winning the tie-break and George knocked out Azerbaijan 2-0.
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