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Sethuraman knocks out Harikrishna in World Cup of chess

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Baku (Azerbaijan): Grandmaster and National champion S P Sethuraman clicked when it mattered and defeated world number 21 and compatriot P Harikrishna to enter the third round of World Cup of chess here.

After a tentative start in the two games mini-match where he had to suffer a worse endgame for a long time in the first game, Sethuraman came out with a positive mind-set and scored a big upset in the second round. The Indian will now meet the winner of the match between Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan and World top rated woman Yifan Hou of China which is stretched to the tiebreak stage.

It was a Berlin defense by Harikrishna who played black in the return game. Sethuraman could only get a minimal edge with white pieces and started his play on the king side in copy book style typical of the queen-less middle game.

As it happened, Harikrishna allowed complications when a knight invaded his camp and the higher-ranked player blundered under pressure on move 37 after losing a pawn. Sethuraman emerged with an extra piece soon after and wrapped the issue in 46 moves. This was a rare loss for Harikrishna.

After losing the first game, Grandmaster Russian Sergey Karjakin became even against Alexander Onischuk of United States with a finely crafted victory. The two will now move in to the tiebreak games to decide the winner.

The hero of the first round, Cristobal Villagra Henriquez of Chile was shown the exit door by senior Julio Granda Zuniga of Peru. After beating former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel, Henriquez lost both games against Juniga.

Amongst the stars, top seed Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia made it to the third round without any hiccups. It was an identical 1.5-0.5 victory for both at the expense of Sergei Zhigalko of Belarus and Bruzon Lazaro of Cuba.

Liren Ding of China got a draw against Ernesto Inarkiev of Russia after a crushing victory in the first game to move to the second round. Liren’s compatriot Shanglei Lu continued with his remarkable run and defeated another Chinese Wang Hao 2-0 to also proceed to the last 32 stage.

The world cup started with 128 players qualified through various processes. It’s a knockout event with 1.6 Million USD as prize money. There are two games in each round followed by games of shorter duration till a winner is established.

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