Teenage Chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa made history on Monday as he reached the final of the FIDE World Cup 2023 after defeating world No. 3 Fabiano Caruana.
The 18-year-old Indian superstar will next face world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest chess players the sport has ever seen.
But Praggnanandhaa has had the better of Carlsen in the past, having defeated the Norwegian legend three times in a row in the FTX Crypto Cup.
"I didn't expect to play Magnus in this tournament at all because the only way I could play him was in the final, and I didn't expect to be in the final… I will just try to give my best and see how it goes!," the Chennai-born Grandmaster said after the semifinal.
Praggnanandhaa beat Fabiano Caruana, the third highest rated chess player ever, 3.5-2.5 after tiebreaks to reach the summit clash.
"This match, just goes to my defensive skills. I was almost losing in every single game. Losing is maybe a hard word. I was defending throughout and in the opening cases I had to suffer.
"Third game also I was lost at some point but with very little time its never easy. Fourth game I was pushing a little bit but it was nothing. And fifth game the position should be around equal. But then somehow things went wrong for him.
"And then in time scramble I managed to not mishap and converted quite nicely. This game, I thought I should win it very comfortably... I had a lot of time as well but then I started to hesitate and trying to be cautious which is never a good idea in such situations. I was never in danger but it could have been..." Praggnanandhaa added.
This is the first time Carlsen will play against Praggnanandhaa in the Chess World Cup final.
Praggnanandhaa has also confirmed his qualification for the 2024 Candidates Tournament after reaching the final of the Chess World Cup.
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