Setting up a blockbuster clash with world No 1 Magnus Carlsen at the 2023 FIDE World Cup on Monday, Indian Grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa scored a memorable win over Fabiano Caruana of the United States in the tiebreak of action-packed semi-finals. Praggnanandhaa overcame Caruana by winning the 3.5-2.5 semi-final in Baku, Azerbaijan. With an epochal victory over Caruana, Praggnanandhaa also earned her place in the 2024 Candidate.
Praggnanandhaa stunned world number 3 Caruana after the two-game classic ended 1-1 in Baku. Praggnanandhaa won after an interesting reconciliation. The Indian Grandmaster has received plenty of praise from chess legend Viswanathan Anand, who has nothing but praise for the 18-year-old Indian prodigy on Twitter. “Pragg advances to the finals! He beat Fabiano Caruana in the tiebreak and will face Magnus Carlsen now. What a great performance!” Chess legend says.
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The teen grandmaster ended the second match of the FIDE World Cup semi-final on Sunday as the showdown event’s penultimate clash went into a draw to determine the winner. India’s Praggnanandhaa and world No 3 Caruana ended a draw on Sunday after 47 moves. Before that, Praggnanandhaa had equalized the achievement that the first time Indian chess icon – Anand achieved. Praggnanandhaa has become the second Indian chess player to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The third youngest player to qualify for the Candidate
After the World Cup, Praggnanandhaa will be the headline for next year’s Candidate event. The signature event of 2024 will determine the challenger to the reigning World Chess Champion – Ding Liren. Carlsen, who is set to meet Grandmaster India in the final of the 2023 FIDE World Cup, won his first game against Azerbaijani Nijat Abasov on Saturday. After winning the opener, Carlsen decided on a draw in 74 moves to become the first to reach the 2023 FIDE World Cup final in Baku. In the women’s final, Aleksandra Goryachkina overcame 20-year-old Bulgarian Nurgyul Salimova by winning the second fastest game lasting 25 minutes.
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‘Didn’t expect to play Magnus’
Praggnanandhaa is the third youngest player after legendary Bobby Fischer and reigning world No. 1 Carlsen to qualify for the Candidates award. “I don’t expect to play Magnus in this tournament at all because the only way I can play him is in the final, and I don’t expect to be in the final either. I’ll do my best. and see how.” it goes!,” Praggnanandhaa is quoted by PTI. “It’s great to qualify for Candidate; I really want to fix this position,” he added.
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