To meet the growing expectations of the chess world, confident R. Praggnanandhaa matched favorite Magnus Carlsen for a comfortable 35-move draw in their first round clash in the FIDE World Cup final in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Tuesday.
For third place, worth a spot in the Candidates Tournament, local Nijat Abasov stunned Fabiano Caruana in 26 moves after the American faltered on move 23.
Praggnanandhaa said after the game: “I don’t think I’ve had any problems. When asked about the second match, he said, “It will be a fight. I will definitely try a lot. Today I will try to rest. Come fresh (tomorrow) and do the best I can.”
Praggnanandhaa surprised Carlsen with his opening move selection – pushing his post well to fourth – but admitted he wasn’t sure how to get the advantage on white and that his opponent took time to play the move. go by “common sense”. .”
AS IT HAPPENED | PRAGGNANANDHAA VS. CARLSEN FIDE ROUND 1 FINAL ROUND OF THE WORLD CUP
Carlsen, who mentioned he had food poisoning on Sunday, said, “I really don’t mind a draw.”
In the conversation after the game, Carlsen clearly looked unwell and wasn’t as cheerful as usual.
Admitting that he was not prepared for Praggannandhaa’s pick in England, Carlsen said: “Normally, I would probably have a slight advantage when I rest while he has to play a tough tiebreak today. via.
“But the last few days I’ve been in a pretty bad state, like food poisoning after the game against Abasov. I haven’t been able to eat anything for the past two days. This also means that I’m really calm and have no energy…so I don’t have the energy to worry.
“Overall, I’m satisfied with the way I tackled the problems from the opening (phases). The results are still good.”
On Wednesday, Carlsen will play with white. If the match ends in a draw, the title will be decided by draws on Thursday.
Open (final, game 1): R. Praggnanandhaa drew Magnus Carlsen (Nor); (third place, game 1): Nijat Abasov (Aze) vs Fabiano Caruana (USA).
PRAGGNANANDHAA vs CARLSEN INTERACTIVE MOVEMENT
– Courtesy of permission – Lichess.org