Indian Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi and SP Sethuraman bowed out of the Chess World Cup after losing to Ding Liren of China and Anish Giri of Holland respectively, reported PTI. They lost during the tie-break games of the third round at Tbilisi, Georgia on Monday.
The ouster of the last two remaining Indians ended the challenge in the biennial event. Earlier, five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, B Adhiban, P Harikrishna, Murali Karthikeyan and Deep Sengupta had lost in the knockout event.
Sethuraman was closed to making the pre- quarterfinal but was unlucky in the second game. After attaining a winning position, the Indian allowed Giri to get away with a half point after some smart defensive moves.
The rapid tie-breaker was evenly matched as Giri won the first game and Sethuraman equalised but once it reached the 10-minute game, Giri was a cut above as he first won with white piece and then was spot on to find counter play and win another game with black pieces.
It was a tough battle for Gujrathi in the rapid tie-break games. After drawing the first game, the Indian was looking strong in the second rapid game but Ding Liren outwitted him towards the end. The Chinese was smart to convert his extra material in to a full point to win by 2.5-1.5.
The third round in fact witnessed a set of upsets in the World Cup as world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia and Hikaru Nakamura of United States also lost their respective matches.
For Carlsen it was a tough call to win with black against BU Xiangzhi of China and the Chinese drew quite effortlessly to sail in to the next round under normal game itself. The shocker was the ouster of Kramnik at the hands of former star Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine. Nakamura fell prey to some adventurous play against Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia.
Sethuraman was quite unlucky as he failed to convert a winning position against Anish Giri under normal time control.
The Indian challenge has ended but Anand can still find his place in the candidates’ tournament if the Indian ace can get a wild card. The Candidates tournament is scheduled to be held in Berlin to decide the challenger for Magnus Carlsen in the 2018 World Championship match.
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