Fighting for the final semi-final spot of the FIDE World Cup, the way R. Praggnanandhaa and Arjun Erigaisi battled to the teeth in nine matches, on Thursday, was truly the epitome of the spirit of a generation of chess players. Current India.
Friends off the board and fierce on the board, these teenagers captured the attention and imagination of the chess world with displays of grit in nine games that saw three wades. upstream, including twice by Arjun, before Praggnanandhaa won the first game. in style.
With this in mind, Praggnanandhaa is currently considered a serious contender to judge favorite Fabiano Caruana as the two clash on Saturday for a spot in the final. Top seed Magnus Carlsen will face the hosts and the surprising Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan.
At the same time, the women’s title match will feature Russian second seed Aleksandra Goryachkina against Bulgarian horseman Nurgyul Salimova. For third place, worth a spot in the Next Candidate tournament, Ukraine’s Anna Muzychuk will face China’s Tan Zhongyi.
Without a doubt, all eyes will be on the Caruana-Praggnanandhaa encounter. Although Caruana led Praggnanandhaa 1-0 in their head-to-head clash after two classic matches so far, the world number one. 2 has every reason to value the Indians.
Unlike some of the other top names, Caruana is not known to be fun to play for less time. Therefore, it would be fair to assume that Caruana could draw in two classic games to end the competition.
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On the other hand, Praggnanandhaa will be happy to draw the Italian-American citizen with a score of 1-1 to bring the opponent into tie-break matches. It can be recalled that the Indian tennis player hit back at Arjun after losing his opening match and never lost after that.
Psychologically, Praggnanandhaa is well equipped to deal with the expected pressure from a new generation of global chess lovers. Besides his exciting chess, Praggnanandhaa also attracts a growing number of followers thanks to his gentle manners with fans and colleagues.
Considering Caruana’s solidity in classic games, Praggnanandhaa will have to play the wait game longer than he has had to against his previous opponents. A war of positions is expected for the first two days, as Praggnanandhaa will look for opportunities to switch tactics.
While Carlsen and Caruana will start off as favorites, a surprise or two can’t be ruled out.