Home Business Indian chess star Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen share FTX Crypto Cup lead

Indian chess star Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen share FTX Crypto Cup lead

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Indian chess star Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen share FTX Crypto Cup lead


Indian chess star Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and world champion Magnus Carlsen picked up two wins from two as the FTX Crypto Cup favorites quickly took the lead.

On Tuesday night, Praggnanandhaa narrowly beat Anish Giri in the four-game match to avenge a costly loss the Dutch No.1 inflicted on him earlier this year in the Oslo Esports Cup. Pragg and Giri had three draws before India scored in the final game.

The youngster sits alongside Carlsen at the top of the standings with 6/6 points. On Wednesday, Praggnanandhaa will face American teenager Hans Niemann, while Giri, who is yet to take off, will face Frenchman Alireza Firouzja.

World champion Carlsen has recovered from a shock loss to Niemann to enter round three of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour round robin. Carlsen’s day got off to a bad start as he was blown away by Niemann, the tournament’s lowest rated player.

Niemann, who just lost 3-0 on Monday, was super smooth with the black pieces. The killing blow was 35… Be4, which wreaked havoc on Carlsen’s defense and ended Niemann’s tilt.

In his post-match commentary, Niemann summed up his win by simply saying, “The chess speaks for itself.” But Game 2 saw the world number 1 hit back with ruthless style to level the score at 1-1. Then in the third game, Carlsen created another opening surprise with the dubious 1. a3, played for the first time on the Rook, before switching to a more orthodox queen pawn opening. The Norwegian has already played 1. e3 and 1. f3 – all very unorthodox moves.

Carlsen quickly mounted a pawn and got a beneficial queen swap before turning the screw on his 19-year-old opponent to take the win and move up 2-1. Niemann now had to win the next game on demand. He struggled hard, but couldn’t hold back the tide. Carlsen won the final game – despite missing a chance for a play – to take the game 3-1.

Carlsen said afterwards: “I didn’t play so well, but I’m very happy to be back.”

France’s up-and-coming registered superstar Alireza Firouzja brushed aside a loss on Monday to kick off his first campaign this season with a stunning 2.5-0.5 win over Liem Le. Firouzja took the win with one game to spare, collecting $7,500 and three points. Vietnam’s best player, meanwhile, has now lost two matches in a row.

The final game to end, Jan-Krzysztof Duda vs. Levon Aronian, became the first of the tournament to be decided after a close encounter between two of the Tour’s big beasts that ended 2-2. Aronian missed an opportunity to take the lead in the first tie-break of the blitz, which ended in a draw. But the American star of Armenian origin was not mistaken in the second to win the match. He is now one point behind Carlsen and Pragg on five points.

Round 3 of the round robin will be played later Wednesday. Each match will be played in four quick matches, with tie-breaks in the event of a 2:2 tie.

–IANS

akm/

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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