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Praggnanandhaa beats Magnus three times in-a-row, still Carlsen wins FTX Crypto Cup 2022

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/08/2022

Praggnanandhaa did the unfathomable for many, beat the world champion in a Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final round that also a Major one. Sure, many people predicted and hoped for the 17-year-old's victory. Carlsen has won two Regular events in this season and this was his first Major event win. After two draws in the Rapid games, Carlsen won the third one and put Praggnanandhaa in a must-win situation. He not only won that but also won both Blitz tie-break games. Thus, the teenager won the final round of FTX Crypto Cup 2022, however, the world no.1 won the tournament as he was already ahead by two points. He becomes the first person to beat Carlsen three times consecutively in a MCCT event final round. Photo: chess24

Praggnanandhaa pulls off a stunner

Jan-Krzysztof Duda was the only person to beat Magnus Carlsen in this event. That changed yesterday, when Praggnanandhaa defeated Magnus Carlsen three times consecutively to win the final round and finish second. This is really an impressive performance by the wunderkind. He bettered his last Major event's performance of a fourth place finish at Oslo Esports Cup back in April. Alireza Firouzja finished third 15/21.

FTX Crypto Cup 2022 runner-up - R Praggnanandhaa 15/21 | Photo: chess24

FTX Crypto Cup 2022 winner - Magnus Carlsen 16/21 | Photo: chess24

Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa: 2-4

Carlsen made a dubious knight sacrifice. Practically it worked out, however, Praggnanandhaa could have made things difficult for the world champion in their very first game of the final round.

Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa, Game 1

Position after 24.Nxc5

Of course, Black cannot take it immediately as 24...Qxc5 runs into 25.Rd8+ tactics causes Black to lose material and the game. 24...Ne8 was played 25.Nxe6 and now 25...Qxc4 was required to be played. 25...Qb7+ allowed White to keep the c4-pawn for some more time.

Praggnanandhaa provided staunch defense in the second game to hold a draw. However, in the third game, the teenager's rook and knight against the worlc champion's rook and bishop turned out to be frail as the Norwegian found a way to score a full point. Thus, putting Praggnanandhaa in a must-win situation in the fourth game, to force tie-breaks.

Praggnanandhaa - Carlsen, Game 4

Position after 38...Bd3

38...h3 or Qg3 would have kept things in balance. The world no.1 and endgame maestro made a rare miscue 38...Bd3 39.Qd2 keeps the c4-pawn tactically defended. 39...Bf5 40.Qg5 h3 41.Nxd6 hxg2+ 42.Kg1 Qe1+ 43.Kxg2 Black soon ran out of checks and White won the game in another eight moves.

Praggnanandhaa won both Blitz tie-break games, although he was completely lost in the second one. The world champion was certainly not at his best in both blitz games, perhaps maybe because he realized that he had already won the tournament. That does not take anything away from Praggnanandhaa's monumental victory.

R Praggnanandhaa defeats Magnus Carlsen three times in a row | Video: ChessBase India
The 3 a.m. Pragg interview after he beat Magnus Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India
"It's amazing!" Coach R B Ramesh after Praggnanandhaa beat Magnus Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India
"I just want to give my best" - Praggnanandhaa R. | Some moments from the final day | Video: ChessBase India

Replay the live stream

FTX Crypto Cup 2022 Round 7 Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and GM Harshit Raja | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 7 games

Round 7 results

Praggnanandhaa beat Magnus Carlsen three times in-a-row and won the final round match too | Photo: chess24

Final standings after Round 7

Magnus Carlsen won the tournament 16/21, Praggnanandhaa and Firouzja scored 15/21 to secure second and third place | Photo: chess24

Tour standings

Magnus Carlsen continues to lead the tour standings, Duda and Praggnanandhaa are second and third place | Photo: chess24

All games will start from 9:30 p.m. IST between 15th and 21st August 2022.

Links

Official site

Tournament regulations


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