Tbilisi, Georgia: Indian Grand Master Pentala Harikrishna suffered a defeat at the hands of compatriot S. P Sethuraman in the tie breaker games of the second round and exited the FIDE World Cup, here in Georgia.
The 20th seeded Harikrishna, playing with black pieces in the first rapid game, started off neck to neck against his countryman and the tie breaker lived up to the billing. Sethuraman was wary of his opponent’s attacking prowess in the first game and defended well to keep Harikrishna at bay and the game ended in a draw after a massive 58 moves.
After that grueling encounter, Harikrishna wanted to wrap it up in the second rapid game. But, it was here that Harikrishna was put under pressure as he just had one pawn to Sethuraman’s five in the endgame.
From there on after, the 31-year-old from Hyderabad tried all tricks up his sleeve but could not save the game and was ousted from the tournament.
This was Harikrishna’s sixth performance at the FIDE World Cup but he feels there will be a seventh and will look to focus on his
Anand bows out
Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand crashed out of the World Cup after playing out a draw in a must-win game against Anton Kovalyov of Canada in the second round in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Playing in this knockout event after a gap of 15 years, Anand had lost the first game against Kovalyov and had to win the second to level score and force a subsequent tiebreaker.
However, after 31 moves, Anand decided that he did not have much hopes of winning and offered a draw to sign his exit.
This might well be the end of Anand’s aspirations for a World Championship match in 2018 unless he gets a wildcard in the next year’s candidates’ tournament.
As per rules, one wildcard is issued and if Anand gets that he will be back in the World Championship cycle. If not, the Indian will have to wait for the next cycle that will be for the 2020 World Championship.
Things had not been very smooth for Anand here and it was another bad day in office. To win on demand as black is a very difficult task against quality opposition in today’s chess and that was the primary reason for Anand’s ouster.
The English opening by the Canadian gave white a little advantage and Viswanathan Anand’s attempt at complications did not materialise as much as he might have liked.