CHENNAI: India's victorious run in the 41st World Chess Olympiad in Norway came to a halt with both its teams - open and women - splitting the points with their lower seeded opponents.
On the top board, 22-year-old Italian Grandmaster and world number three Fabiano Caruana (2,801 elo points) showed his mastery thoroughly outplaying Indian GM Parimarjan Negi in 57 moves.
Playing the Ruy Lopez opening with white pieces, Caruana went for exchange of queens on the eighth move itself spoiling Negi's castling chances.
It was evident that the Italian was intent on exchanging the pieces and go in for the end game at the earliest. Slowly, the play went out Negi's grasp.
The Indian team's highest rated player K.Sasikiran on the third board drew the game against lower rated GM Daniele Vocaturo on 73rd move.
On the last board, GM B.Adhiban battled against GM Sabino Brunello who had a slightly better positional play. However in the end, both the players split the points at the end with the Indian having just his king and rook on the board and the Italian having his king and knight. The Indian women's team too faced a major block in the form of Kazakhstan's women. Both the teams ended the round with two points each.
On the top board, GM Harika Dronavalli gained a better position during the middle game but finally drew her game against Guliskhan Nakhbayeva.
The tussle between Tania Sachdev and Dinara Saduakassova ended in a draw.
The first set back for the Indian women's team in the tournament was the defeat of Eesha Karavade at the hands of Zhansaya Abdumalik in 29 moves on the third board.
On the last board, Padmini Rout won against her Kazakh opponent Madina Davletbayeva.
The eight move mate suffered by Canada's Nava Starr at the hands of Angola's 11 year old Luzia Pires who sacrificed a knight to win was the biggest upset of the day's play. However Canada won the round 3-1.
On the top boards in the open section, France defeated Armenia 2.5 - 1.5 points while Norway (1st team) led by World Champion Magnus Carlsen won 3 - 1 against Montenegro. Russia crushed FYROM 4-0 and the Asian giant China defeated Hungary 2.5 - 1.5.