Chennai: India continued their shoddy show losing to title contenders China and Russia by an identical margin of 1.5-2.5 in the ninth and 10th round respectively to finish fifth after the round-robin phase of FIDE-Chess.com Online Nations Cup on Saturday.
USA will meet China in Sunday’s Superfinal after they beat the top seeds 2.5-1.5 in the final round later in the day.
Europe, which had to beat Rest of the World in the last round to have any chance of advancing to the summit clash, was held to a 2-2 draw to bow out.
In the final round encounter against Russia, India’s Vidit Gujrathi was beaten by Vladislav Artemiev, while B Adhiban was tamed by Dmitry Andreikin.
P Harikrishna held Sergey Karjakin to a draw, while Rapid world champion Koneru Humpy scored a win over Olga Girya to reduce the margin of defeat and finish with two victories and no losses.
China topped the league table with 17 match points and 25.5 board points followed by USA (13 MPs, 22 BPs).
Europe took the third spot (13 MPs, 21.5 BPs) followed by Russia (8 MPs, 19 BPs) and India (5 MPs, 17.5 BPs), while Rest of the World languished at the bottom with 4 MPs and 14.5 BPs.
Earlier in the ninth round, with former world champion Viswanathan Anand resting, the Indian team managed to hold their own against the favorites before Yu Yangyi subdued Adhiban with black pieces to secure another victory in the tournament.
Gujrathi (Elo 2636), playing on the top board, held higher-ranked Wang Hao (Elo 2750) to a draw. Harikrishna, playing with black pieces, forced a draw against Wei Yi and D Harika shared the honours against the formidable Hou Yifan.
In the other ninth round matches, Europe defeated USA 2.5-1.5, courtesy a win by Nana Dzagnidze after three other games ended in draws, while Russia and Rest of the World settled for a 2-2 result.
The event followed a double round-robin format, with the two leading teams battling for the title in the “Superfinal”.
All matches involved four boards – represented by three men and a woman player.
The rapid time-control was 25-minute plus 10-second increment per move.