Indian Grandmasters P Harikrishna and S P Sethuraman in 2nd round of World Cup
Indian Grandmasters P Harikrishna and S P Sethuraman made it to the round of sixty-four, winning their mini-matches against Max Illingworth of Australia and Sanan Sjugirov of Russia respectively in the first round, here.
Baku, Azerbaijan: Indian Grandmasters P Harikrishna and S P Sethuraman made it to the round of sixty-four, winning their mini-matches against Max Illingworth of Australia and Sanan Sjugirov of Russia respectively in the first round, here.
Having won the first game of the two-game mini-match with remarkable ease as black, Sethuraman showed the way as he crushed Sjugirov for the second day running to score a very satisfying 2-0 victory.
Harikrishna on the way worked hard but Illingworth denied him a second victory as after 74 moves, the second highest rated decided to split the point. The draw was enough for Harikrishna too as he won his mini-match by 1.5-0.5 margin winning first game with black.
Vidit Gujrathi and B Adhiban also kept their hopes alive for a place in the last-64 of this 1.6 million US Dollar event with easy draws in the second game of the first round. Playing white, Gujrathi gave nothing away to Bruzon Lazaro and played out a second draw in a row while Adhiban yet again had little troubles in holding Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia.
Gujrathi and Adhiban will now play tiebreak games of shorter duration on Sunday to determine who will go to the next round. For the records, there are two games under rapid time control to start with and the time control will keep squeezing should the deadlock continue. If still tied after six tiebreak games, the players will play a final Armageddon game to decide the winner.
The other two Indians in the fray however did not have good fortunes. M R Lalith Babu and Surya Shekhar Ganguly bowed out of the World Cup after losing to Radoslav Wojtaszek of Poland and Vladislav Arteniev of Russia respectively.
Lalith Babu tried but could not keep up the momentum in the second game after drawing the first while Ganguly's valiant attempt of a comeback win to force tiebreaker did not materialise as Artemiev was quite up the task in defense.
Sethuraman was in his elements against Sjugirov in an English opening game with white pieces. The Russian was in desperate need of a victory but realised it's never easy to achieve in with black pieces. Sethuraman launched his attack in the centre and his efforts paid off as Sjugirov erred in finding out the right defense. It was a picturesque finale as Sethuram left his queen en prise and Sjugirov had no answers.