Viswanathan Anand survived some extremely anxious moments against his lowly rated opponent before getting the half-a-point he required to move into the second round of the chess World Cup at Tbilisi (Georgia) on Monday. The former World champion from Chennai was indeed in considerable trouble against Malaysia’s Li Tian Yeoh, rated more than 300 Elo points below.
Playing from the white side of a Caro-Kann Defence, Anand, with a few weak moves, had created possibilities of a big shock early on in the tournament. But Li returned the compliment and the game –featuring a rook-and-minor-piece ending -- was drawn in 71 moves.
India’s other big hope, Pendyala Harikrishna, however, won against Cuban Yuri Gonzalez Vidal. It was a game he needed to win after the loss on Monday. He has thus forced the tie-breaker. There was more good news for India, with S.P. Sethuraman advancing into the second round, following his victory over former World champion Ruslan Ponomariov.
Another Chennai player, Karthikeyan Murali, scored an even bigger upset, over Francisco Vallejo Pons of Spain to take their match into the tie-breaker. Yet another Indian, Vidit Gujrathi, also entered the second round. B. Adhiban has forced a tie-breaker with Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietnam.Deep Sengupta, however, was knocked out, by China’s Wang Ho.
Important results (Indians unless specified): First round (second game): Magnus Carlsen (Nor) 2 beat Oluwafemi Balogun (Ngr) 0 lost to; So Wesley (US) 1.5 beat Joshua Daniel Ruiz Castillo (Col) 0.5; Kenny Solomon (SA) 0 lost to Fabiano Caruana (US) 2; Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) 1.5 drew with Dai Changren (Chn) 0.5; Daniel Cawdrey (SA) 0 lost to Levon Aronian (Arm) 2; Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) 1.5 drew with Liu Guanchu (Chn) 0.5; Al Rakib Mollah Abdullah (Ban) 0 lost to Hikaru Nakamura (US) 2; Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) 1.5 beat Muhammed Khusenkhojaev (Tjk) 0.5; Essam El Gindy (Egy) 0 lost to Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 2; Viswanathan Anand 1.5 drew with Li Tian Yeoh (Mas) 0.5; Mohammed Haddouche (Alg) 0.5 drew with Ding Liren (Chn) 1.5; Sergey Karjakin (Rus) 1 drew with Anton Smirnov (Aus) 1; Nana Dzagnidze (Geo) 0.5 drew with Anish Giri (Ned) 1.5; Pendyala Harikrishna 1 beat Yuri Gonzalez Vidal (Cub) 1; Karthikeyan Murali 1 beat Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spa) 1; Wang Ho (Chn) 1.5 beat Deep Sengupta 0.5; Neuris Delgado Ramirez (Par) 0.5 lost to Vidit Gujrathi 1.5; S.P. Sethuraman 1.5 beat Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr) 0.5; B. Adhiban 1 drew with Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vie) 1.