Anand, Sasikiran reach second round

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Viswanathan Anand, Krishnan Sasikiran reach the second round of the World Chess Championship.

Updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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Defending Champion Viswanathan Anand shrugged off his stunning opening game upset to reach the second round of the World Chess Championship winning the tie-breaker 1.5 - 0.5 against bottom ranked Olivier Touzane of France last night. Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran joined Anand beating Vereslav Einghorn of Ukraine also in tie-breaker and Nisha Mohota became the only Indian woman to reach the second round upsetting highly rated Tatian Stepovaia of Russia. Anand was far too superior to the Frenchman, who qualified for the championship via Internet, in the tie-break games and had no difficulty to book a place against Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark in the second round. "Naturally it is good to get into the next stage after a result like that (first game loss)," a relieved Anand said on his close shave. Anand's second round opponent Nielsen, who beat Alexander Goldin of United States in the first round, is also one of the eight Internet qualifiers in the tournament. Of the eight players who came through the net, only three are left. Dominating the tie-break games, Anand ended Touzane's challenge with a win in the first game and a comfortable draw in the second. The other Indians crashing out of the tournament were GMs Dibyendu Barua, Pentyala Harikrishna and International Master Surya Sekhar Ganguly. Barua blundered a piece to lose his second game after being in a good position against Frenchman Joel Lautier, while Harikrishna was beaten by Alexander Beliavsky. (PTI)

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