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Chess: Harikrishna ousted from FIDE World Cup

Indian Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna suffered a defeat at the hands of compatriot S.P. Sethuraman in the tie-breaker games of the second round and exited the FIDE World Cup here on Friday.

The 20th seeded Harikrishna, playing with black pieces in the first rapid game, started off neck and neck against his compatriot and the tie-breaker lived up to the billing.

Sethuraman was wary of his opponent’s attacking prowess in the first game and defended well to keep Harikrishna at bay, and the game ended in a draw after a massive 58 moves.

After that gruelling encounter, Harikrishna wanted to wrap it up in the second rapid game. But, it was here that Harikrishna was put under pressure as he just had one pawn to Sethuraman’s five in the endgame.

From there on, the 31-year-old from Hyderabad tried all the tricks up his sleeve but could not save the game and was ousted from the tournament.

This was Harikrishna’s sixth performance at the FIDE World Cup but he feels there will be a seventh and will look to focus on his next tournaments.

“Things did not go my way for this event from the initial stages, but I had given my best in every match I played,” Harikrishna said.

“Although it is a disappointment to end the tournament here but I will focus on my next events and come back stronger,” he added.

Harikrishna will be next seen in action when he features in the European Club Cup in Antalya Turkey in the second week of October.

Earlier on Thursday, Harikrishna had to settle for a draw against Sethuraman after an enthralling encounter in the second classical control game of the second round and took the lead going into the tie-breaker round.

Harikrishna, playing with black pieces in the reverse fixture, tried to take a complete point from the game and settle the tie but couldn’t do so as he had to be at his defensive best and led the game towards a draw.

Although Sethuraman placed a couple of checks on Harikrishna’s king on the 28th and the 29th move, Harikrishna evaded the situation tactically and both players settled for a draw after 39 moves.

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