Magnus Carlsen clinches FIDE World Cup 2023, Praggnanandhaa second and Caruana third
Magnus Carlsen was taken aback in the first game by Praggnanandhaa's choice of variation in the Italian Opening. However, two impulsive decisions cost the teenager the first game. According to the world no.1, experience prevailed today. In the second rapid game, the world no.1 opted for the Alapin variation in the Sicilian. There was not much to fight for. Thus the game ended in a draw and Carlsen won the FIDE World Cup 2023, for the very first time in his career. Fabiano Caruana completely crushed Nijat Abasov in both tie-break games to finish third. Praggnanandhaa, Caruana and Abasov - all three have qualified in the Candidates as Carlsen made his intentions known of not playing Candidates if the format remains unchanged. One thing is for sure, Praggnanandhaa delivered an extraordinary performance at the World Cup which the winner mentioned in the interview. Photos: Shahid Ahmed
Carlsen dominates, Caruana crushes
"He played really well. In general, in the tournament, he had an exceptional performance. Today I think two moments of inexperience that cost him." - Magnus Carlsen on R Praggnanandhaa. The match he enjoyed the most was against D Gukesh in the Quarterfinals.
Praggnanandhaa - Carlsen, Finals Tie-break 8.3
The world no.1 GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2825) felt that this was the first key moment where his opponent R Praggnanandhaa (2645) needed to spend a little more time. He was a bit impulsive in playing 15.Nf5. Computer suggests Nhf3 is the better option.
Magnus felt 28.g4 was another impulsive move, it is not wrong according to him. Computer suggests 28.Ref2 to be played instead. This was the second key moment of the first game.
In the second game, Carlsen went for the Alapin variation in the Sicilian Defence. There was not much to fight for with the black pieces. So Praggnanandhaa drew after 22 moves. Thus, it became the shortest
Abasov - Caruana, 3rd-4th place Round 8.3
GM Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2763) is someone who converts his advantages with ease. In the above position, he went 23...Rxc3 24.Nxf5 Nxf5 25.bxc3 Qh4 26.g3 Nxg3 27.Rh2 Qg5 28.Rg2 Bh3 and GM Nijat Abasov (AZE, 2532) resigned.
Caruana - Abasov, 3rd-4th place Round 8.4
Black was in a must-win position. So he went for a wild 14...b5?? It only created a new target for White 15.a4 Rb8 16.axb5 axb5 17.Nb3 and White went on to convert his advantage into a win quite comfortably.
Interview with GM R Praggnanandhaa and Closing Ceremony videos are coming soon. Stay tuned!
Finals and 3rd-4th place Round 8.2 results
GM R Praggnanandhaa - GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR): 1.5-2.5
GM Nijat Abasov (AZE) - GM Fabiano Caruana (USA): 1-3
A total of four games took place in Round 8 Tie-breaks.
The total prize fund is US$ 1834000 in the Open and $676250 in the Women, with the first being $110000 and $50000 respectively.