Chess WC: Sethuraman stuns Harikrishna

Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi knocks India’s B. Adhiban out of the World Cup.

India’s S.P. Sethuraman knocked out compatriot and higher rated Pendyala Harikrishna in the second round of the Chess World Cup at Tbilisi (Georgia) on Friday.   -  M. VEDHAN

History repeated itself at the Chess World Cup on Friday, as S.P. Sethuraman knocked out fellow-Indian and higher rated Pendyala Harikrishna in the second round at Tbilisi (Georgia). Two years ago at Baku, it was the same result at the same stage.

Then, Sethuraman had delivered the coup de grace in the second game of the classical time control. This time around, the match went into the tie-breakers.

After playing out three successive draws with the 20th seed, in games of varying time controls, Sethuraman posted a decisive victory with the black pieces in an Italian Game. He proved India’s lone success of the day, as B. Adhiban went down to Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia. That match also produced a decisive result in the second of the tie-breakers.

Sethuraman is one of the two Indians to make it to the third round. Vidit Gujrathi had qualified on Thursday itself; he didn’t need the tie-breakers.

Important results: Second round (Indians unless specified): S.P. Sethuraman beat Pendyala Harikrishna 2.5-1.5; Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus) beat B. Adhiban 2.5-1.5; Wesley So (US) beat Matthias Bluebaum (Ger) 4-2; Fabiano Caruana (US) beat Luka Lenic (Slo) 4-2; Levon Aronian (Arm) beat Hou Yifan (Chn) 4-2; Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukr) 1 drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) 1; Hikaru Nakamura (US) 1 drew with Lazaro Bruzon (Cub) 1; Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 1 drew with Jorg Cori (Per) 1; Ding Liren (Chn) beat Martyn Karavstiv (Ukr) 2.5-1.5.