“If it worked,” said Anton Kovalyov about Viswanathan Anand’s knight sacrifice in their second round game at the Chess World Cup at Tbilisi (Georgia), “It would have been the game of the year.”

It didn’t work. And the Canadian went on to post the biggest upset on Wednesday.

Playing from the white side of a Sicilian Defence, Anand gave up after 43 moves. The former World champion from Chennai now has to win on Thursday if he wants to remain in the competition.

Vidit Gujrathi, however, brought some cheer to the Indian camp later in the day when he overcame higher rated Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. B. Adhiban also did well to take half-a-point off Ian Nepomniachtchi of Russia, rated 71 Elo points above.

The two other Indians, 20th seed Pendyala Harikrishna and S.P. Sethuraman, faced each other in the second round. They drew quietly after 23 moves of Ruy Lopez. Sethuraman shouldn’t be too worried about that result: he is rated 124 points below and was playing with black pieces.

Important results: Second round, first game (Indians unless specified):Aleksey Dreev (Rus) lost to Magnus Carlsen (Nor) ; Wesley So (US) drew with Matthias Bluebaum (Ger); Luka Lenic (Slo) drew with Fabiano Caruana (US); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus) beat Anton Demchenko (Rus); Hou Yifan (Chn) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze) drew with Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukr).

Lazaro Bruzon (Cub) drew with Hikaru Nakamura (US); Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) beat Boris Grachev (Rus); Jorg Cori (Per) drew with Alexander Grischuk (Rus); Viswanathan Anand lost to Anton Kovalyov (Can); Martyn Karavstiv (Ukr) drew with Ding Liren (Chn); Sergye Karjakin (Rus) drew with Daniil Dubov (Rus); Pendyala Harikrishna drew with S.P. Sethuraman ; B. Adhiban drew with Ian Nepomniachtchi (Rus); Le Quang Liem (Vie) lost to Santosh Gujrathi.