Grandmaster K. Sasikiran kept himself in the hunt by holding Sergey Karjakin of Russia to a draw in the first game of the second round of World Chess Cup here.

After beating Romanian Constantin Lupulescu in the tie-break games, Sasikiran took it easy in the first encounter of the two-game mini-match and gave little chance to Karjakin, ranked ninth in the world currently.

Grandmaster B. Adhiban, however, could not make use of a good advantage and drew with Brazilian GM Alexander Fier after an opening tussle. After a few surprises in the opener, most of the higher ranked players got off to a good start in the first game of the second round of the $1.6 million knock-out event.

The day saw top players like Alexander Morozevich and Alexander Grischuk of Russia, Gata Kamsky of United States, Anish Giri of Holland and Fabiano Caruana of Italy registering victories over lower rated opponents.

Julio Granda Zuniga of Peru, however, sprang a major surprise defeating Hungarian Peter Leko.

Former national champion, Sasikiran surprised Karjakin by going for the King’s Indian attack as white. The game lasted 44 moves.

The World Chess Cup is a part of the next World Championship cycle. The event started with 128 players but half of them were knocked out after the first round, including Parimarjan Negi and G. Akash of India.

Each round, except the final, is a mini-match of two games followed by encounters of shorter duration in case of tied result.

Important results: Second round: Game 1: Igor Lysyj drew with Levon Aronian; Evgeny Tomashevsky bt So Wesley; Alexander Morozevich bt Rafael Leitao; Gata Kamsky bt Aleksandr Shimanov; Alexei Shirov drew with Wei Yi; Alexander Grischuk bt Dariusz Swiercz; Krishnan Sasikiran drew with Sergey Karjakin; Fabiano Caruana bt Yu Yangyi; Julio Granda Zuniga bt Peter Leko; Anish Giri bt Li Chao; Leinier Dominguez Perez bt Alexander Onischuk; Ray Robson lost to Vassily Ivanchuk; Hikaru Nakamura bt Eltaj Safarli; B. Adhiban drew with Alexandr Fier; Anotn Korobov bt Baadur Jobava.

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