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Indian Grand Master Pentala Harikrishna recuperated quickly from the loss in the opening game of the first round against GM Yuri Gonzalez Vidal to win the second game and take the tie into the tie-breaker of the FIDE World Cup, here in Georgia.
The World No. 20 Indian, playing with white pieces in this round, was wary of his opponent’s attacking prowess and started off with careful calculated moves.
However, the Cuban was looking to carry on his winning streak and tried to put Harikrishna on the back foot from the initial stages of the game. The positions remained equal till the 20th move, but the Indian broke away after a miscalculated move by Vidal and kept mounting the pressure till there was no way out for his opponent.
The game was long and grueling and lasted a total of 41 moves for Harikrishna to take a full point from it and lead it to the tie-breaker.
Harikrishna will now look to keep the momentum in his favour as he takes on Vidal in the tie-breaker round and continue his quest for a spot at the Candidates’ Tournament.
If the 31-year-old from Guntur emerges victorious in the tie breaker, he will face compatriot S. P. Sethuraman for his second round as he beat former FIDE World Chess Champion Ruslan Ponomariov from Ukraine to advance into the next stage.