World Cup chess: Nihal Sarin, Hari Krishna post wins

Nihal continues dream run; crushes Azerbaijan's Eltaj Safarli in 37 moves.

Nihal Sarin was sharp against his jaded opponent. Photo: K. K. Mustafah

Teen sensation Nihal Sarin continued his dream run by crushing Azerbaijan’s Eltaj Safarli in 37 moves before P. Hari Krishna ended Vladimir Fedoseev’s resistance in 54 moves in the first game of the second round of World Cup chess championship in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia, on Friday.

On a day when all five Indians played with white pieces, B. Adhiban held formidable Chinese Yu Yangyi to a 55-move draw. Vidit Gujrathi faced a similar result against lower-rated Russian Aleksandr Rakhmonov in 31 moves. However, young Aravindh Chithambaram lost to Russia's Evgeny Tomashevsky in 37 moves.

In the second game on Saturday, all Indians will play with black pieces.

Nihal, 15, seized his opportunities in the Ruy Lopez game. The Azerbaijani, who battled hard and long to reach the second round, looked jaded and a sharp Nihal made him pay.

Following his planned assault on the black’s castled king, Nihal unleashed a precise knight-sacrifice and broke open the Safarli’s defence. With the black queen and rook-pair far from coming the on-the-run king, Nihal’s rook and queen were poised to land the knockout punch. At this stage, Safarli gave up.

The results (involving Indians)

Round Two

Game One: P. Hari Krishna (2746) bt Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus, 2664); Nihal Sarin (2610) bt Eltaj Safarli (Aze, 2593); Vidit Gujrathi (2718) drew with Aleksandr Rakhmanov (Rus, 2606); B. Adhiban (2639) drew with Yu Yangyi (Chn, 2763); Aravindh Chithambaram (2609) lost to Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus, 2718).