Praggnanandhaa wins Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour Finals
Praggnanandhaa decimated his competition IM Christopher Yoo in the finals as he needed only three games to win the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour Finals. With this win he won US$ 12500 and a Regular place in the next year's Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. This means we will get to see him face Carlsen more than in one event and go against the world's best. Yoo was not an easy opponent as he is considered to have the strength of the Grandmaster, however Pragg made it look easy. The world champion Carlsen and the legend Anand congratulated the wunderkind on twitter. This triumph could possibly be the launching pad which announces Praggnanandhaa's arrival in the big leagues of the chess universe, permanently. Photo: Champions Chess Tour
Praggnanandhaa phenomenal at the Finals
Praggnanandhaa scored eight victories and conceded only one draw in the Finals. He was completely winning the drawn game too, he drew because it was enough for him to secure his place in the Finals. When asked how will he celebrate his triumph, "Actually I need to prepare for the Grand Swiss, which is coming in 10 days! I'll not look at chess for one day..." - the soft-spoken powerhouse, Praggnanandhaa responded.
Praggnanandhaa - Yoo: 3-0
IM Christopher Yoo went wrong early in the opening against GM Praggnanandhaa in the first game of the Final.
Yoo - Praggnanandhaa, Game 1
7.d5 cost an exchange for White after 7...Qf6. Although White eventually managed to fight back and equalize in the endgame.
35.g5 fxe5 36.fxg5 imbalance eventually turned out to be in Black's favor.
In search of his first victory in the finals, Yoo made an interesting sacrifice which Pragg defended quite well in the second game.
Praggnanandhaa - Yoo, Game 2
36...Nxh3+ is very interesting as it has some practical chances. However, Black's lack of enough pieces on the board allowed Praggnanandhaa to defend his position and eventually score a win.
Yoo was in a must-win situation. His best attempt was not enough as Praggnanandhaa was in top form and scored his third consecutive victory of the day.
The man with the encyclopaedic knowledge of chess, GM Sundararajan Kidambi reminded everyone of a beautiful queenside majority which Capablanca had decades ago
How the chess universe reacted to Praggnanandhaa's triumph
Pragg on his victory
The world champion Magnus Carlsen congratulated
The icon of Indian chess, the one and only, Vishy Anand
The greatest female chess player of all time, Judit Polgar
Pragg's coach GM R B Ramesh
India no.4 Adhiban
Replay all games of Finals
Replay the live stream
Every day between 14th and 17th October, game starts at 7:30 p.m. IST.
The format for the final eight-player knockout will be four rapid games with 10 minutes per player for each game, plus a 5-second increment added each move. If the score is level at 2:2 a playoff will feature two 5+3 blitz games. If needed, there will be Armageddon to decide the winner of the match.