Grand Master SP Sethuraman continued with his dream run Tbilisi and played out a fighting draw with higher ranked Anish Giri of Holland in the first game of the third round of World Chess Cup on Sunday, PTI reported.
After victories over Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine and compatriot P Harikrishna in the first two rounds, Sethuraman displayed fine form yet again, and the Indian did not face any trouble against Giri, a top-10 player for several years.
It was a King pawn opening wherein Sethuraman had slightly passive but perfectly normal position for a long time. The exchange of pieces became inevitable at some point and the resulting position was just level when the players shook hands.
Grand Master Vidit Gujrathi missed a great opportunity against Ding Liren of China and had to settle for a draw. At one stage in the middle game, a beautiful tactic could have turned the tide decisively in favour of the Indian. However, once Gujrathi missed the tactic, the resulting position was level.
Both Gujrathi and Sethuraman will play white in the return game now. Meanwhile, world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Bu Xiangzhi of China and now faces the elimination as he is in a must win situation with black pieces.
Carlsen’s loss was overshadowed by a massive controversy that broke out much before the world champion collapsed. Grand Master Anton Kovalyov of Canada received widespread acclaim following his victory over former world champion Viswanathan Anand in the second round.
The trend continued after the third round too albeit for the wrong reasons. As he arrived at the hall, Kovalyov was informed by the Chief Arbiter that he was not appropriately dressed.
The Kovalyov left the tournament hall and forfeited his game after a heated discussion with the organising committee due to non-appearance against Maxim Rodshtein of Israel. A few hours later, Kovalyov was seen checking out of the hotel and only later did the Canadian put his side of the story on his facebook page.
According to Kovalyov, and pictures available, he had played the first two rounds with the same dress, including in his victory over Anand. No one raised any objections during the first two rounds. The Canadian has reportedly left the city and will not come for the return game.