Chess World Cup 2023: On Thursday( August 24, 2023), Indian chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa experienced defeat in the initial tie-break match against Magnus Carlsen during the ongoing FIDE World Cup final taking place in Baku.
Amidst a dynamic game where fortunes oscillated, the 18-year-old Indian sensation conceded the point as he grappled with time pressure.
Carlsen secured victory in the first game after 45 moves, granting him the advantage of playing with the white pieces in the subsequent match. This scenario places Praggnanandhaa in a situation where he must secure a win.
Initiating the match with the white pieces, Praggnanandhaa made the opening move – f e4 – and strategically navigated to a more favorable position. Carlsen countered with an e5 at the beginning of the engagement.
Meanwhile, in another match, Fabiano Caruana achieved a commanding win playing as black against Nijat Abasov in their initial tie-break encounter. Consequently, Caruana now only requires a draw in the following game to secure third place.
Magnus Carlsen, the reigning World No. 1, employed a strategic move in the second of the two-game World Cup final by opting for a swift and unambitious draw with the white pieces, thus initiating the tie-breaker. Carlsen secured victory in the first game and subsequently managed a draw in the second, ultimately clinching the coveted title. This victory marked Carlsen’s inaugural World Cup triumph.
For Praggnanandhaa, who commemorated his 18th birthday during the Championship held in Baku, this journey remained nothing short of sensational. His accomplishments included defeating the World No. 2, Hikaru Nakamura, and subsequently overcoming the World No. 3, Fabiano Caruana, in the semifinals.