Harikrishna loses to Karjakin in Shamkir chess

Fabiano Caruana defeated highest ranked woman Yifan Hou to take the sole lead with 2.5 points out of a possible three. Anish Giri of Holland followed the leader on two points while Harikrishna is on 1.5 points sharing the third spot.

It turned out to be a bad day in the office for Harikrishna (right) against World Championship challenger Sergey Karjakin. ( File photo)   -  Rakesh Rao

Grandmaster P. Harikrishna suffered a defeat at the hands of World Championship challenger Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the third round of Shamkir Chess tournament now underway here.

It turned out to be a bad day in office for Harikrishna who is generally known for his defensive ways when necessary. The Indian still has a long way to go in the super tournament but will have to keep firing with white pieces.

Fabiano Caruana of United States defeated highest ranked woman Yifan Hou in another strategic struggle of the day and the American took the sole lead on 2.5 points out of a possible three.

Anish Giri of Holland followed the leader on two points while Harikrishna is on 1.5 points sharing the third spot.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Uzbekistan also left behind his previous day’s blues as he fought off and defeated Pavel Eljanov of Ukraine. The other two games of the day ended in draws with Anish Giri of Holland signing peace with Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan while the all Azerbaijani duel between Safarli Eltaj and Rauf Mamedov also reached the same result.

Harikrishna was under pressure from the beginning out of a Petroff defense game but did not show it to his opponent.

His blitz-moves in the early part of opening wore a testimony to that and the Indian only felt the heat when Karjakin sacrificed a piece.

Calculating precisely, Harikrishna reached an endgame but Karjakin avoided anything that might have caused a problem. As it turned out, Karjakin was back in command and he gave no chances to Harikrishna.

Results: Round 3: Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2) beat P Harikrishna (Ind, 2.5); Fabiano Caruana (Usa, 2.5) beat Yifan Hou (Chn, 1); Safarli Eltaj (Aze, 1.5) drew with Rauf Mamedov (Aze, 1.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 1.5) beat Pavel Eljanov (Ukr, 0.5); Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 1.5) drew with Anish Giri (Ned, 2).