FTX Crypto Cup 2022 R3: Praggnanandhaa beats Niemann, stays in the lead with Carlsen
Praggnanandhaa started the third round with a loss against Hans Niemann. He beat USA's top junior in the second game, drew the next and won the fourth game again. Thus, he won the match 1.5-2.5 and scored 3 points again. The 17-year-old currently shares the lead with the world champion Magnus Carlsen who defeated Levon Aronian with the same score. Meltwater Champions Chess Tour FTX Crypto Cup 2022 witnessed the first Armageddon between Alireza Firouzja and Anish Giri. The Dutch no.1 missed his chances twice in two Rapid games, both with the black pieces, eventually his luck ran out as he could not draw the Armageddon to win the match. Round 4 starts tonight at 9:30 p.m. IST. Photo: chess24
Firouzja wins Armageddon against Giri
Liem Quang Le took the minimum number of games to beat Jan-Krzysztof Duda. After losing the previous round to Firouzja in just three games, Liem did the same to his opponent this time. Carlsen sacrificed his queen against Aronian in the fourth game and he was completely winning. Since a draw was enough for him to win the match, he did not push too hard.
Niemann - Praggnanandhaa: 1.5-2.5
Praggnanandhaa started the second round with a loss against Hans Niemann (USA). An incorrect queen exchange landed him in an inferior endgame which was difficult to save.
Praggnanandhaa - Niemann, Game 2
A positional mistake in the endgame cost Niemann the game. 33...axb3 34.axb3 now Black cannot control both the open a-file and protect the c6-pawn. White invaded via the a-file and just completely destroyed Black's position. 34...f6 35.Ra1 Be8 36.Ra6+ Kb7 37.Rc2 Rd8 38.Rca2 Kc8 39.Nd3 Nb7 40.Bh3 Bg6 41.Rb6 Kd7 42.Ra7 Rb8 43.Nb4 Na5 44.Rxc7+ Kxc7 45.Ra6 Nxb3 46.Rxc6+ and Black could not do much but be spectator of his own position's demise.
The third game ended in a draw. In the fourth game, Praggnanandhaa and Niemann once again repeated the same line of exchanging queens in the Queen's Gambit Declined Exchange variation where they traded the queens on the ninth move. This time the 17-year-old deviated with 10.Nf3.
Praggnanandhaa - Niemann, Game 4
28...Rd7/e7 would have been fine for Black. 28...Be4 created an opportunity for White 29.Nf7 probably would have earned the win much earlier for White, as there is no good defense for Black. The game continued 29.Nxe4 Rxe4 30.Kf3 Rexd4 31.Rxd4 Rxd4 32.Rc1 and White won the prolonged battle.
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All games will start from 9:30 p.m. IST between 15th and 21st August 2022.