Grandmaster and former national champion B Adhiban was knocked out of the chess World Cup after losing his second game on the trot against higher-ranked Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the third round in Tromso, Norway.
Losing the first game as white, Adhiban started the day in a must-win situation but his aspirations suffered setbacks as Nakamura scored another chance-less victory against the Indian.
But Adhiban remained the best-performing Indian in the event as compatriots G Akash and Parimarjan Negi had crashed out in the first round itself against Fabiano Caruana of Italy and Yuri Kryvoruchko of Ukraine.
Krishnan Sasikiran found his nemesis in Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the second round of the 128-player knockout event.
World No 2 Levon Aronian of Armenia was sent packing too as he could not win in the return game against Evgeny Tomashevski of Russia and lost the two-games mini-match by 0.5-1.5 margin.
Russian Alexander Grischuk however rose from his ashes to square it up against Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. It was a dead-drawn endgame on board which on another day was no problem for Liem.
However, the pressure got to the Vietnamese as he squandered away the chance to be in last 16 and will have to now battle it out in the rapid tiebreaker.
Apart from victories by Grischuk and Nakamura, the day provided just one more decisive game and veteran Peruvian Grandmaster Julio Granda Zuniga benefitted at the expense of Dutchman Anish Giri.
Incidentally, Anish had won the first game so this one too goes to the tie-break stage.
Adhiban went for the King's Indian defense against Nakamura but the American just went for an equal variation that involved trading of queens early in the opening.
Seeking a victory desperately, Adhiban felt the heat and his attempts to complicate did not come good. Nakamura spotted an opportunity to sacrifice an exchange that sealed the fate of the game effectively and the American notched the victory in 40 moves.
Adhiban received $16,000 after his ouster out of which 20 per cent will be paid to FIDE as part of the regulations. The Indian had beaten Evgeny Alekseev of Russia in the first round and Alexander Fier of Brazil in the second.
Results round 3 game 1: Levon Aronian (Arm) lost to Evgeny Tomashevsky (Rus) 0.5-1.5; Vladimir Malakhov (Rus) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Vloadimir Kramnik (Rus) drew with Alexander Areshchenko (Ukr) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Le Quang Liem (Vie) v/s Alexander Grischuk (Rus) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Sergey Karjakin (Ukr) drew with Pavel
Eljanov (Ukr) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; B Adhiban (Ind) lost to Hikaru Nakamura (Usa) 0-2; Boris Gelfand (Isr) beat Alexander Moiseenko (Ukr) 1.5-0.5; Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor) lost to Gata Kamsky (Usa) 0.5-1.5; S Mamedyarov (Aze) drew with Wei Yi (Chn) 1-1; M Vachier-Lagrave (Fra) beat Leinier Dominguez Perez (Cub) 1.5-0.5; Daniil Dubov (Rus) drew with Anton Korobov (Ukr) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Dmitry Andreikin (Rus) drew with Aleksey Dreev (Rus) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Peter Svidler (Rus) beat Teimour Radjabov (Aze) 1.5-0.5; Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukr) drew with Yuri Kryvoruchko (Ukr) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Julio Granda Zuniga (Per) v/s Anish Giri (Ned) 1-1, goes to tiebreak; Nikita Vitiugov (Rus) drew with Alexander Morozevich (Rus) 1-1, goes to tiebreak.