FIDE World Cup: Marry, Vidit, Arjun advance; Karthik crashes out against Nakamura

Karthik Venkataraman fought valiantly before succumbing to world number three Hikaru Nakamura of the United States in the rapid tiebreaks. Nakamura

Published : Aug 04, 2023 21:47 IST , NEW DELHI - 2 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Women Grand Master Gomes Mary Ann of India.
FILE PHOTO: Women Grand Master Gomes Mary Ann of India. | Photo Credit: JOTHI RAMALINGAM B/The Hindu

FILE PHOTO: Women Grand Master Gomes Mary Ann of India. | Photo Credit: JOTHI RAMALINGAM B/The Hindu

The perseverance of Mary Ann Gomes finally paid off as fourth seed Kateryna Lagno erred at the point of no return and exited from the second round of the FIDE Women’s World Cup chess at Baku, Azerbaijan, on Friday.

The two-game 25-minute rapid tie-breaker seemed to be heading for a deadlock after Mary let her famed rival off the hook in the second game. Perhaps, Kateryna’s sense of danger let her down as she blundered on the 60th move and resigned after Mary’s 61st. This was a huge upset since Kateryna was rated 226 points higher.

This paved the way for Mary to join compatriots K. Humpy, D. Harika, R. Vaishali and Divya Deshpande in Saturday’s third round.

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A little earlier, National champion Karthik Venkataraman won the hearts of chess followers from around the world with his heroic display in running second seed Hikaru Nakamura close.

Karthik saved the first game in 142 moves, but his bravado in the second rapid game backfired. He chose not to draw by repeating the moves and soon erred in judgement to lose.

Arjun Erigaisi ended the sequence of draws against Sergei Azarov by winning the sixth game – a 15-minute rapid game – for a 3.5-2.5 victory.

Vidit Gujrathi’s struggle to find his cutting edge against Dimitrios Mastrovasilis ended in the seventh game and he kept his Greek rival at bay for a 45-move draw in the return encounter to prevail 4.5-3.5.

The results (involving Indians):
Round Two (tie-break)
Open: Vidit Gujrathi (2719) bt Dimitrios Mastrovasilis (Gre, 2587) 4.5-3.5; Arjun Erigaisi (2710) bt Sergei Azarov (FIDE, 2589) 3.5-2.5; Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2787) bt Karthik Venkataraman (2565) 2.5-1.5.
Women: Mary Ann Gomes (2326) bt Kateryna Lagno (FIDE, 2552) 2.5-1.5.
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