MCCT Finals R1: Tough start for Arjun and Praggnanandhaa
Both Arjun Erigaisi and Praggnanandhaa started with a loss at Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022 Finals. Arjun Erigaisi did not manage to score a single win in the first round against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. He got a great opportunity in the very first game. However, a fumble allowed the FIDE World Cup 2021 winner to get back in the game. Praggnanandhaa managed to level the score in the third game after starting the day with a loss and a draw. However, another loss in the fourth game meant him losing the match. Carlsen defeated So and Giri beat Liem in tie-breaks. Praggnanandhaa will face Giri and Arjun will be up against Carlsen in Round 2 which starts tonight 16th November at 1:30 a.m. IST. Photo: ChessBase India live stream
So misses against Carlsen
The mighty Carlsen showed vulnerability in the first round against Wesley So. The world no.1 was lost in the queen, bishop and few pawns endgame. So was unable to seize his opportunity and his opponent escaped with a draw after 113 moves.
Praggnanandhaa - Mamedyarov: 1.5-2.5
R Praggnanandhaa started the day with a loss against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE).
Praggnanandhaa - Mamedyarov, Game 1
16.d4 was a big mistake. It cost him a pawn after h4 17.Ne4 was forced. 17...exd4 18.Bf4 Qxe4 19.Qxe4 Bxe4 20.Rxe4 g5 21.Bd2 Bc5 and Black gained complete control. Mamedyarov went on to win the game.
After a draw in the second game, Praggnanandhaa opted for 1.e3 in the third one, transposing into English Opening.
Praggnanandhaa - Mamedyarov, Game 3
If 19...h5 was not enough to create an unnecessary weakness for Black, 20...b5 did not help his case either. 21.Rh1 b4 22.Rxh5 Bg6 23.Rxc5 bxc3 24.Rxc6 cxb2 25.Rb1 Rab8 26.e4 White is completely winning. The b2-pawn will fall sooner than later. Praggnanandhaa won the game soon and leveled the score 1.5-1.5.
Praggnanandhaa lost the fourth game by virtue of another incorrect pawn push. All three decisive games had pawn moves which decided the fate of the game.
Mamedyarov - Praggnanandhaa, Game 4
The endgame was certainly not easy for Black. 25...g4 did not help his case either. 26.Bc4 pinned the e6-pawn which means Black was forced to drop either e6 or the f5-pawn. Mamedyarov won the game and the match 1.5-2.5.
Duda - Arjun: 2.5-0.5
Arjun Erigaisi got himself a good position against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. However, he miscalculated and went for an incorrect tactic which allowed his opponent to equalize.
Duda - Arjun, Game 1
23...Bb3 24.Rd2 Rc8 would have kept the upper hand for Black. 23...Nxd3 turned out to be the incorrect tactics which resulted in White getting back in the game. 24.Rxd3 Bc4 25.Bd5 Bxd3 26.Qxd3 Rd6 27.Kg2 and White does not have many weaknesses compared to Black. Moreover, Black's king is more vulnerable than White which he took advantage and went on to win the game.
The second game was a well-contested draw. In the third game, Arjun went wrong early in the opening.
Duda - Arjun, Game 3
8...bxa4 9.Nxd3 e6 would have been fine for Black. 8...Qc8 certainly looks artificial. White had no trouble exploiting it 9.axb5 cxb5 10.Qb3 Bxg2 11.Qxf7+ caused Black's position to be in shambles. Duda won the game and the match 2.5-0.5.
So - Carlsen, Game 2
White needed to save the e7-pawn 40.Qf6. The idea is Bxg6+ fxg6 Qf8 and promote the e7-pawn to e8. Even after 40.axb5 Qxe7 41.b6 a4 42.b7 Qc7 43.Qg3 h5 44.Qa3 h4 White was still winning but he missed that too. Carlsen won the third game and drew the fourth one by creating a fortress to win the match 188.8.131.52
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All games will start from 1:30 a.m. IST between 15th and 21st November 2022.