2019 Chess World Cup: Vidit & Harikrishna forge ahead, Nihal to play tie-breaker
Indian chess players Vidit Gujrathi and P Harikrishna continued their unbeaten run to advance to the third round of the FIDE World Cup in Khanti-Mansiysk, Russia on Saturday.
Indian chess players Vidit Gujrathi and P Harikrishna continued their unbeaten run to advance to the third round of the FIDE World Cup in Khanti-Mansiysk, Russia on Saturday. With their game being characterised by impact at the very top, the duo has made ample promising appearances apparent at the board. While Vidit showcased glimpses of his vintage self and maintained his shape throughout with black pieces to vanquish GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov, a gritty P Harikrishna went an inch closer to fulfilling his dream of reclaiming victory over Vladimir Fedoseev after sealing the opening game but was held to a draw instead, in the end.
The ongoing chess tournament in Russia does provide a window to what Indian chess, in its decade of resurgence, has come to expect from its ever-growing crop of talented players like Vidit or Harikrishna, especially with no Vishwanathan Anand in it. While Vidit and Harikrishna have made their way to round three, the grip of 15-year-old Nihal Sarin seemed to loosen, for he failed to capitalise on the second round after winning the opening game. GM Eltaj Safarli made the most of Nihal’s frayed nerves as his Evans Gambit ended up unsettling a mighty Nihal. With nearly an hour spent on his first twelve moves, Nihal failed to turn the middle game in his favour and suffered a heart-rending loss only to play the tie-breaker on Sunday.
B Adhiban was equally impressive, as he came into the match in great form, refusing to concede points to his opponent Yu Yangi. The Chinese No. 2 player Yangi was no different, as is apparent from the hard-fought draws played out by both with none opting for easy chances. Adhiban is set to play the third round tie-breaker against GM Yangi Yu, after holding to successive draws. His Indian counterpart, Aravindh Chithambaram failed to escape unscathed as he lost his match to Evgeny Tomashevsky 1.5-0.5. Having lost the first game, all that he could manage was a draw in the second.