Formidable Alexander Motylev of Russia was ousted from the World Chess Cup after losing to Ukrainian Yuri Drozdivsky in the Armageddon game while Ni Hua of China made it to the round of 64 defeating Ildar Khairullin of Russia in the first round that concluded in Russian town of Khanty Mansiysk.
Out of the 128 participants that started the competition, a half have packed their bags in the knockout events as the tie-breaker proved its worth with most games being fought down to the wire.
The youngsters gave a lot of troubles to the bigger names of the game and topping the list was American Ray Robson who made Etienne Bacrot of France sweat a lot before the latter could proceed to the next round.
Bacrot in fact won the first game under rapid time control but had to face the music in a King's gambit by the American in the return game which he lost. However the Frenchman, once the youngest Grandmaster in the world, used his immense experience to eventually come up triumph in the semi-rapid game played with ten minutes on each clock.
It may be recalled that the Indian trio of P Harikrishna, Parimarjan Negi and Abhijeet Gupta are already in the second round. Harikrishna had beaten Maxim Rodshtein of Israel while Abhijeet had put it across Rauf Mamedov of Azerbaijan in the first round under normal time controls itself while Parimajan Negi benefited from an injury to his opponentÂ Akopian of Armenia.
The Indians are set to meet tough rivals in the next round as Negi meets seventh seed Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan while Harikrishna is left to tackle tenth seed Russian Dmitry Jakovenko.
Abhijeet Gupta plays Samuel Shankland who is lesser rated than the Indian but one has to take him with the fact that the giant killer ousted highly regarded Hungarian Peter Leko from the competition from the first round itself.
Barring a few upsets the first round in the World Chess Cup has been a good outing generally for the higher ranked players but the second round may see tougher times for the higher seeds.