World Chess Cup | P Harikrishna, B Adhiban progress to next round as M Karthikeyan crashes out

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World Chess Cup | P Harikrishna, B Adhiban progress to next round as M Karthikeyan crashes out

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SportsCafe Desk


A mixed day for the Indian camp in the World Cup saw grandmasters P Harikrishna and B Adhiban progressing into the next round while Murali Karthikeyan was shown the door by Francisco Pons. Viswanathan Anand, S P Sethuraman, and Vidit Gujrathi had already progressed to the second round earlier.

It was a hard-fought game where Grandmaster and former world junior champion Pentala Harikrishna had to dig deep with two sets going to the tie-breaks before he finally emerged victorious against Cuba’s Yuri Vidal Gonzales beating him 3.5-2.5 on Wednesday. Harikrishna will face compatriot SP Sethuraman in the next round, who produced a major upset in the last round by knocking out former FIDE champion, Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine.

Baskaran Adhiban, another grandmaster, also progressed to the round of 64 after having a comfortable win over Vietnam’s Nguyen Ngoc Troung Son in the rapid games. However, two-time national champion Murali Karthikeyan couldn’t go past Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain in the same category as he lost in the tie-break.

India still have a huge chance in the tournament as five of the seven players have advanced to the next stage. Apart from Karthikeyan, the other name to bow out of the tournament was Grandmaster Deep Sengupta, who lost in the first round to China’s Wang Hao.

While Vidit Santosh Gujrathi is scheduled to play a supposedly easy game against Vietnam’s Le Quang next, Adhiban will have a tough nut to crack against Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Viswanathan Anand will definitely start as a favourite against Canada’s Anton Kovalyev yet again after his first-round win against Malaysia’s International Master Li Tian Yeoh.

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