Sasikiran advances in to second round of world cup

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Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia), November 27: Grandmaster K. Sasikiran edged out Bulgarian Grandmaster Sergei Zigalko in a blitz game to become the only Indian to make it to the second round of the Chess World Cup in Russia.

However, the other Indians could not make it through the tie-breaks to advance in the elite event.

Grandmaster G. N. Gopal put up a heroic fight before losing to former world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov. Gopal, who had drawn both his classical games against his celebrated opponent, also managed to hold his own in the rapid games.

Kasimdzhanov finally prevailed in the blitz games by a 1.5-0.5 margin.

Harikrishna made a disappointing exit from the World Cup when he lost his rapid tie-break match 0.5-1.5 to Chinese GM Zhao Jun.

Abhijit Kunte lost the rapid match 0.5-1.5 to Russian GM Vadim Zvjaginsev.

Commonwealth champion Grandmaster Nigel Short bowed out of the World Cup with a 0.5-1.5 loss in the rapid games to German Grandmaster David Barmidze.

Russian Grandmaster Alexander Khalifman was another surprise loser. He lost the rapid match to compatriot Alexander Belov and had to make his exit from the tournament.

Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine made a strong comeback against IM Essam El Gindy of Egypt and advanced to the second round with a 1.5-0.5 victory in the rapid tie-breaks.

Evgeny Alekseev brushed off an early scare in his first classical game against Ismagambetov and won their match in the rapid games.


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