Chess World Cup: Praggnanandhaa Eyeing Title
BAKU (IANS) – India’s 18-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa played out a 30-move draw with World No.1 Magnus Carlsen in the second game in their two-game final in the FIDE World Cup here on August 23, taking the summit clash into the tiebreaker.
Praggnanandhaa, who was held to a draw with white pieces in the first game on August 22, held the Norwegian five-time World Champion in Classical Chess to another draw, this time with black pieces, as they remained tied 1-1 after two games.
The second successive draw means the two players will come back to the board on Thursday to play shorter games in the tiebreaker to decide who wins the World Cup.
Prggnanandhaa is hoping to become the youngest winner of the World Cup by claiming his maiden title.
The World Cup final will now be decided on August 24 via rapid chess tiebreak games with the players having 25 minutes each with an increment of 10 seconds per move in the first two games. In case the tie is still not resolved, they will play two more games with shorter time control — 10 minutes for each player with 10 seconds added to the clock after every move.
If the tie persists, they will next two more tiebreak games with five minutes for each player with three seconds added to their clock after each move. In case the issue is not resolved even then, they will play unlimited games with each player with three minutes each on the clock with two seconds added to their respective clock after every move till one of them wins the mini-match.
Carlsen, the 32-year-old five-time World Champion from Norway, offered an early exchange of knights and his 18-year-old rival from Chennai accepted it. After an exchange of a few more pieces, they reached an equal position.
Carlsen in recent times, has expressed his preference for shorter games of 1-2 hours to decide the outcome instead of playing for 5-6 hours. Another reason why Carlsen did not press for victory was that he was not 100 percent fit, still recovering from food poisoning. He said he was feeling a little better on August 23, but he was still low on energy.
Though Carlsen, a four-time World Rapid Chess Champion, fancies his chances in the faster time controls, on August 23, he said Praggnanandhaa could not be taken lightly as he has played more tie-break games in this event.
Carlsen also thanked officials and the doctors provided by the local organizing committee for helping him recover from food poisoning:
Praggnanandhaa said he did not feel Carlsen was unwell, though he did not think the Norwegian had a lot of energy. “I didn’t feel he had a lot of energy; I didn’t think he was unwell. I hope he recovers for tomorrow,” he said.