Chess World Cup: Harikrishna, Adhiban come through tie-breakers

Harikrishna and Adhiban, along with Karthikeyan Murali, were tied 1-1 after their games in the classical time control and had to play the tie-breakers, which are of much shorter duration.

Adhiban had the upper hand going into his match against Vietnam’s Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son. (File Image)   -  Sandeep Saxena

Pendyala Harikrishna and B. Adhiban survived the nerve-wracking tie-breakers to enter the second round of the Chess World Cup at Tbilisi, Georgia, on Tuesday. That means five Indians are in the second round; Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Gujrathi and S.P. Sethuraman had made the ground after the two classical games of the opening round.

Harikrishna and Adhiban, along with Karthikeyan Murali, were tied 1-1 after their games in the classical time control and had to play the tie-breakers, which are of much shorter duration.

Harikrishna’s opponent was Yuri Gonzalez Vidal of Cuba, while Adhiban was up against Vietnam’s Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son. In both the matches, the Indians were the favourites, especially Harikrishna, seeded 20th.

The scores were still tied after the first pair of rapid games finished in both the matches. Then Adhiban broke through by winning the third game and followed it up with the draw in the fourth.

Harikrishna, however, had to wait till the fourth game for a decisive result. There was, however, heartbreak for Karthikeyan, whose loss to Francisco Vallejo Pons in the first game of the day proved decisive.

It still was a fine effort by the Chennai player; he had done well enough to force the tie-breaker with a rival who is rated 143 points above. The day also saw reigning champion and 12th seed Sergey Karjakin of Russia winning his tie-breaker against 16-year-old Anton Smirnov of Australia, the youngest participant in the tournament.

Most of the other strong contenders, including top seed and World champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, had entered the second round on Monday itself.

Important results (Indians unless specified): First round: Sergey Karjakin (Rus) beat Anton Smirnov (Aus) 3-1; Pendyala Harikrishna beat Yuri Gonzalez Vidal (Cub) 3.5-2.5; Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spa) beat Karthikeyan Murali; 2.5-1.5; B. Adhiban beat Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (Vie) 3.5-2.5.