FIDE Grand Swiss: Indian GM K Sasikiran loses in the eighth round of the event
Sasikiran remained on five points to share the third spot with a bunch of players, including compatriots Nihal Sarin and P Harikrishna
Indian Grandmaster K Sasikiran went down to Alireza Firouzja of France in the eighth round of the Open event to slip to the third spot in the FIDE Grand Swiss chess tournament here.
Firouzja won in 43 moves with white pieces against Sasikiran on the first board Thursday night. He moved up to 6.5 points to grab the sole lead by a full point.
A group of 10 players, including top seed and world No.2 Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, are in joint second place.
Sasikiran remained on five points to share the third spot with a bunch of players, including compatriots Nihal Sarin and P Harikrishna. Sarin shared a point with Maghsoodloo Parham of Iran while Harikrishna drew with Evgeniy Najer of Russia in round eight.
S P Sethuraman was the only Indian to post a win in this round in the Open section as he beat Lucas Van Foreest of the Netherlands to take his score to three points.
Teenaged Grandmasters R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh endured mixed luck with the former drawing his game against Nodirbek Abdusattorov while the latter lost to Nodirbek Yakhubov.
In the women's event, the highest rated Indian D Harika drew against Olga Bedelka of Russia and fell behind in the race to qualify for the Candidates Tournament next year. She has five points after eight rounds and is among a group of players in joint fourth.
Among the other Indian women, R Vaishali and Padmini Rout registered victories over Alina Bivol of Russia and Maria Eizaguerri Floris of Spain in the eighth round. Divya Deshmukh lost to Valentina Gunina and Vantika Agrawal drew veteran Pia Cramling.
China's Lei Tingjie is a point clear of the field with seven points while German IM Elisabeth Paehtz is a surprise second with six points, followed by a couple of Russians Alexandra Kosteniuk and Natalija Pogonina on 5.5. Ten Indian men and five women feature in the tournament.
The Grand Swiss tournament and Women's Grand Swiss 2021 are part of the qualifications for the 2021-23 World Championship cycle. The top two finishers will qualify for the Candidates Tournament in 2022.