Chandigarh, May 25
Guess what the important assignment was that awaited Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa merely hours after he beat world No. 10 Anish Giri in the semifinals of the Chessable Masters tournament? Well, it was just an internal exam in his Chennai school.
In the wee hours of Wednesday, Praggnanandhaa became the first Indian player to reach the final of the Champions Chess Tour’s Chessable Masters tournament, being played online, after registering a breathtaking 3.5-2.5 win over Anish Giri of the Netherlands.
The four-game rapid format match had ended 2-2 in regulation time, following which a two-game tie-breaker was played in the blitz format, which Praggnanandhaa won 1.5-0.5. The match had started on Tuesday night IST but spilled over to Wednesday. After winning the tense match, the 16-year-old Praggnanandhaa, a Class XI student, said, “I have to be at school around 8.45 am, and now it is 2 am! I’ll try not to sleep during my internal exam.” Praggnanandhaa, currently ranked No. 108 in the world, put up a stunning show to beat Giri, who had come into the semifinals of this tournament without a loss. The first game of the match was drawn but Praggnanandhaa went 1.5-0.5 up by winning the second. The teenager had to fight hard to secure a draw in the third game, but Giri made it 2-2 by winning the fourth game, sending the match into the tie-breaker.
Praggnanandhaa will take on China’s Ding Liren, ranked No. 2 in the world, in the final, which is scheduled to be played over two days, in the evenings of Wednesday and Thursday. The challenge for Praggnanandhaa would be tougher than the school exam because Liren would be high on confidence after shocking world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen 2.5-1.5 in the semifinals.
Defeats world no. 10
- R Praggnanandhaa is the first Indian player to reach the final of the Champions Chess Tour’s Chessable Masters online tournament
- Registered breathtaking 3.5-2.5 win over world No. 10 Anish Giri of the Netherlands
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