P Harikrishna, SP Sethuraman in Second Round of Chess World Cup

Updated: 12 September 2015 22:55 IST

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.

P Harikrishna, SP Sethuraman in Second Round of Chess World Cup
File photo of P Harikrishna. (Image Source: Twitter)

Baku, Azerbaijan:

Indian Grandmasters P Harikrishna and SP 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. Harikrishna tried hard to make a second win but Illingworth put up stiff resistance. The Indian had a rook for a minor piece but Illingworth maintained an iron-grip on the position to steer the game to a draw in the end.

The world cup has 128 players qualified from various systems across the globe. In each round there are two games under normal time control followed by tiebreak games of shorter duration. The top two from here qualify for the Candidates' tournament in 2016 which will decide the challenger to world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the next world championship match.

Indian Results: S P Sethuraman (Ind) beat Sanan Sjugirov (Rus) 2-0; P Harikrishna drew with Max Illingworth (Aus) 1.5-0.5; Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus) drew with B Adhiban (Ind) 1-1; goes to tiebreak; Vidit Gujrathi (Ind) drew with Lazaro Bruzon (Cub) 1-1 goes to tiebreak; Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Ind) drew with Vladislav Artemiev (Rus) 0.5-1.5; Radoslav Wojtaszek (Pol) beat M R Lalith Babu (Ind) 1.5-0,5.

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Topics : Chess
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