Chess WC: Sasikiran in third round

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Krishnan Sasikiran blitzed Vadim Zvjaginsev of Russia in the second round of World Cup of chess in Khanty Mansisyk in Russia.

Updated: December 01, 2007 08:54 IST
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Krishnan Sasikiran blitzed Vadim Zvjaginsev of Russia in the second round of World Cup of chess in Khanty Mansisyk in Russia.

After drawing both the classical games and then the Rapid games, Sasikiran won both the Blitz games to complete a 4-2 win.

Sasikiran had to rely on wins in Blitz versions for the second successive round. In the first round, Sasikiran had beaten Sergei Zhiglako of Belarus in Blitz to advance.

Sasikiran drew the first game and was then in trouble in the second game of Rapid tie-breaker. But Zvjaginsev blew that chance while being a pawn up and in a good position.

Sasikiran held out for a draw and then in Blitz he built up an early advantage and won the first game and did the same in the second to find a berth in the last 32.

Sasikiran is the only Indian left in the tournament after four others were eliminated in the first round.

Sasikiran will now clash with Bartlomiej Macieja of Poland in the third round. Macieja outplayed teenage sensation Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan 2-0 in the second round.

Sasikiran will be the favourite as he is rated 2661 to Macieja's 2606.

Meanwhile, there were not too many major surprises in the tie-breaks Thursday, apart from the loss of former World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

Rustam, feared in speed games following his title win in World Championships in Tripoli, suffered defeat at the hands of experienced Bulgarian Kiril Georgiev who kept defending in the classical and rapid games; and then in Blitz Kasimdzhanov just collapsed.

Favourites Vassily Ivanchuk and Magnus Carlsen had no problems eliminating Alexander Galkin and Arkady Naiditsch.

Ruslan Ponomariov beat Wang Hao in a repeat of the recent Kramnik-Anand Blitz game.

Ivan Cheparinov managed to beat the European champion Vladislav Tkachiev in the first Blitz game, and then survived an inferior position in the second one.

Sergey Rublevsky dominated David Navara and won the match 2.5-1.5.

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu showed technical excellence to pass through Zhao Jun.

Zhou Jianchao defeated Andrey Volokitin in the final sudden death Blitz after the latter made a fine comeback in the second Blitz game.

Vladimir Malakhov proved stronger than his countryman Sergey Volkov in the rapid part of the tie-breaks.

The field at the World Cup is now narrowed to 32 players, and it becomes increasingly difficult to predict winners in the new clashes.

One thing is obvious -- the knock-out is not just about chess skill, it is also about mental strength.

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