Charity Cup Chess: World No.1 Magnus Carlsen avenges defeat against India’s R Praggnanandhaa

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, March 23, 2022, 03:44 PM IST
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Magnus Carlsen |

Magnus Carlsen had his revenge against R Praggnanandhaa. In a Charity Cup prelim stage game on Tuesday, the world champion outplayed the wonderkid from Chennai to sail through to the quarter-finals of the championship.

To the heartbreak of the Indian teen, he narrowly missed out on a place in the knockouts, just as his compatriots P Harikrishna and Vidit Gajarathi.

Pragg, as Praggnanandhaa is known, had beaten Carlsen in the first Tour event, the Airthings Masters, recently. But the prodigy was not as lucky this time as the Norwegian got a sweet revenge against the 16-year-old.

In a Grünfeld game, Carlsen obtained an early advantage with a pseudo-sacrifice of the c-pawn with black pieces. He then mounted pressure on the youngster who failed to stop the world champion. The game ended in 43 moves.

That defeat and further results in the tournament did not help Pragg who failed to qualify for the next round despite posting a stunning penultimate round win over World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda. He still needed a final-round result against Spanish ace David Anton, who was also in the hunt, and crumbled when it mattered most.

Pragg had been bossing the game before he weakened his king at the wrong moment and the advantage slipped. Anton took control and fended off all of Pragg's tricks to close out the win. It was close for the youngster, but it was not to be.

Pragg’s loss meant Anton and the Czech No.1 David Navara squeezed through by the tightest of margins at the expense of Richard Rapport.

The event is supported by NEAR Foundation and is being held as a fundraiser for UNICEF.

The quarter-finals start on Wednesday with Carlsen facing Hans Niemann and Liem Quang Le taking Navara. The other two quarter-finals will be between Ding Liren and Jorden van Foreest and Jan-Krzysztof Duda and David Anton.

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