Niaz fights neck and neck before going down
Grandmaster (GM) Niaz Murshed's dream to play the second round of FIDE World Cup came to an end tonight when the country's first GM lost to 218 points higher ranked Paraguayan GM Neruis Delgado Ramirez in both blitz games after the first four rapid games in tiebreaker segment failed to separate both GMs in Sochi, Russia.
Earlier on Tuesday, Niaz's brilliant comeback in the second game forced the first round to roll into the tiebreaker, with Niaz and Ramirez having won a single game each. Yesterday (Wednesday), the 55-year-old Bangladeshi (FIDE rating 2404) carried his powerful momentum into the tiebreaker and fought like a brave knight against the 39-year-old Paraguayan (FIDE rating 2622 rating) and displayed a tremendous fighting spirit and endurance till the end.
In the first two rapid games of 25 minutes during the tiebreaker, both matches had resulted in a draw, which forced the tiebreaker into another set of two rapid games of 10 minutes each. Niaz was able to beat Ramirez in the first match and came close to sensing victory however, he lost the second game, and thus forced the tiebreaker to move into the blitz format of three minutes. And finally it resulted in a somewhat of an anticlimax for Niaz, who surrendered in the last two blitz games and lost by overall 3-5 points.
Previously, the Bangladeshi Grandmaster had participated once in knock-out basis FIDE World Cup and was eliminated from the first round. This time Niaz was optimistic about producing positive results and indeed, he delivered in the end, with a neck and neck fight against a higher ranked player before finally going down.