It was a mixed luck for the Indian Grandmaster trio at the World Chess Cup as P Harikrishna won, Surya Sekhar Ganguly drew and K Sasikiran lost in their second game of the second round match in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
All of them will have to fight it out in the tie-breaker to advance to the next stage. In their first games of the round earlier, Sasikiran had won, while Harikrishna lost. For Ganguly, it was his second successive draw in the second round.
Playing with white in his second game, former World Junior champion and second highest rated Indian Grandmaster Harikrishna downed Giovanni Vescovi of Brazil to equalise the score at 1-1.
The game advanced to the Ruy Lopez closed variation pattern in which Vescovi played on risky lines. Harikrishna went all out to win this game to avenge his first game defeat. The Indian superbly eliminated both the black rooks in order to advance his pawn on the F flank. He did get a chance to give a check to the black king on the 24th move but that was repulsed by Giovanni. However, in the process, Harikrishna's deft move forced his opponent to finally accept defeat and the Indian thus managed to keep his hopes alive, stretching the contest to tie-breaker.
Sasikiran, who had played a superb game against Sergei Rublevsky in the first game, could not keep that momentum in the second encounter and lost tamely. The game took an uncommon Scotch opening, in which Rublevsky overshadowed the Indian and made him to surrender after 59 moves.
Ganguly, meanwhile, had a very short draw against Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia. Playing with black, Ganguly's was a Queens Gambit Classical variation. The Kolkata Grandmaster offered a draw as early as after eight moves to which his opponent readily accepted.
Meanwhile, in the biggest upset of the championship, top seed Vassily Ivanchuk was held to a draw by a lower rated Bulgarian Ivan Cheparinov to crash out of the championship. Ivanchuck had earlier lost the first game of the second round.
The big names who advanced to the third round include Etienne Bacrot, Alexander Grischuck, Alexie Shirov, Ivan Sokolov, Evgeny Bareev, Joel Lautier and Magnus Carlsen.
Boris Gelfand, Gata Kamsky, Ruslan Ponomariov, Teimur Radjabov, Alexy Dreev, Alexander Onischuk, Alexander Khalifman, Emil Sutovsky and Mamedyrov Shakhriyar are among the players who will play in the tie-break.
Results (Round 2, Game 2): Ivanchuk, Vassily (UKR) lost to Cheparinov, Ivan (BUL); Kempinski, Robert (POL) drew with Bacrot, Etienne (FRA); Aronian, Levon (ARM) beat Sadvakasov, Darmen (KAZ); Istratescu, Andrei (ROM) lost to Grischuk, Alexander (RUS); Gelfand, Boris (ISR) drew with Felgaer, Ruben (ARG); Kotronias, Vasilios (GRE) lost to Shirov, Alexei (ESP); Lane, Gary (AUS) drew with Jobava, Baadur (GEO); Kazhgaleyev, Murtas (KAZ) lost to Radjabov, Teimur (AZE); Ponomariov, Ruslan (UKR) drew with Motylev, Alexander (RUS); Korneev, Oleg (RUS) drew with Tiviakov, Sergei (NED); Sokolov, Ivan (NED) beat Zhang, Zhong (CHN); Paragua, Mark (PHI) drew with Dreev, Alexey (RUS); Kamsky, Gata (USA) drew with Bocharov, Dmitry (RUS); Efimenko, Zahar (UKR) beat Bologan, Viorel (MDA); Lautier, Joel (FRA) drew with Ivanov, Alexander (USA); Onischuk, Alexander (USA) drew with Bruzon, Lazaro (CUB); Bareev, Evgeny (RUS) beat Naiditsch, Arkadij (GER); Najer, Evgeniy (RUS) drew with Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar (AZE); Vallejo Pons, Francisco (ESP) beat Leitao, Rafael (BRA); Wang, Yue (CHN) drew with Smirin, Ilia (ISR); Harikrishna, Pentala (IND) beat Vescovi, Giovanni (BRA); Nikolic, Predrag (BIH) lost to Malakhov, Vladimir (RUS); Sakaev, Konstantin (RUS) drew with Erenburg, Sergey (ISR); Xu, Jun (CHN) beat Cao, Sang (HUN); Moiseenko, Alexander (UKR) drew with Van Wely, Loek (NED); Rublevsky, Sergei (RUS) beat Sasikiran, Krishnan (IND); Eljanov, Pavel (UKR) lost to Gurevich, Mikhail (TUR); Pantsulaia, Levan (GEO) drew with Ganguly, Surya Sekar (IND); Shulman, Yuri (USA) beat Khalifman, Alexander (RUS); Areshchenko, Alexander (UKR) beat Balogh, Csaba (HUN); Timofeev, Artyom (RUS) drew with Sutovsky, Emil (ISR); Ammonatov, Farrukh (TJK) drew with Carlsen, Magnus (NOR).