Generation Cup R1-4: Praggnanandhaa beats Ivanchuk, Duda and Gelfand
Praggnanandhaa started Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Julius Baer Generation Cup with a win over former World Rapid champion, Vasyl Ivanchuk. Then he beat FIDE World Cup 2021 Jan-Krzysztof Duda in hard-fought prolonged battle. He completed his hat-trick with a win over the legendary Boris Gelfand, before succumbing to Christopher Yoo in the final game of the day. Arjun Erigaisi lost to the world champion Magnus Carlsen in the first round. Then he beat B Adhiban, World Blitz 2013 champion Liem Quang Le and Czech Republic no.1 David Navara. The world no.1 has taken an early sole lead 10/12. He is closely followed by Ivanchuk, Praggnanandhaa, Hans and Arjun at 9/12 each. Round 5 starts tonight at 9:30 p.m. IST. Photo: chess24
Carlsen gains early sole lead
It is quite clear that Magnus Carlsen wants to shut down all chatter which started after his tweet about his withdrawal from Sinquefield Cup 2022 about a fortnight ago. His determined play was evident from the very first game against Arjun Erigaisi. Only in Round 3, the world no.1 allowed his opponent Adhiban a little bit of leeway in the endgame. It was not easy to capitalize and 'The Beast' was tamed quite easily by the mighty world champion.
Round 1: Ivanchuk - Praggnanandhaa: 0-3
Vasyl Ivanchuk had a very interesting encounter against Praggnanandhaa. He was winning for the better part until he made an incorrect rook sacrifice in the end.
27.e6 would have probably been a curtain call for Black. However, the game proceeded 27.Rg2 Nd5 28.Rag1 g6 29.Bh6 Rfb8 30.e6 Ndf6 31.exf7+ Kxf7 32.Be3 g5 33.Rxg5?? Nxg5 and it was over for White.
Arjun Erigaisi - Carlsen: 0-3
Arjun Erigaisi retreated his knight at the wrong place against the world champion, Magnus Carlsen in Modern Defence.
10.Na4 and Ne4 are the plausible continuations. Perhaps White wanted to play something different. He just could not get out of the gate. Carlsen won a one-sided game.
Round 2: Adhiban - Arjun Erigaisi: 0-3
B Adhiban was completely winning against Arjun Erigaisi. In the final moments of the endgame, he made a tactical error.
Both 29.Qc4 and Qe4 are losing for White. 29.Rb1 is the only way for White to maintain his advantage Qh5+ 30.g4 Qg5 31.Ne4 Qxg4+ 32.f3 Qg2+ 33.Qf2 White has managed to defend everything. The game continued 29.Qe4 Qd1+ 30.Ke3 Rxc5 and Black won the game in the next few moves.
Praggnanandhaa - Duda: 3-0
Praggnanandhaa had a very arduous game against the FIDE World Cup 2021 winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
29.Bxf8 gxf3 30.Rb8 Kf7 now 31.Bh6 would have given White a much quicker victory. 31...Qxg2+ looks scary but it actually is not. 32.Ke3 Qg1+ 33.Kf4 Qc1+ 34.Qe3 and it is over. Instead, White went for the safer 31.Qxf3+ yet prolonged way to victory 31...Bxf3 32.Kxf3 and the game went on for another 46 moves before Black resigned.
Round 3: Gelfand - Praggnanandhaa: 0-3
Praggnanandhaa defeated the legendary Boris Gelfand by seizing his advantage in the double rook endgame.
Arjun Erigaisi - Liem: 3-0
Arjun Erigaisi had a very sharp game against World Blitz 2013 champion, Liem Quang Le.
Both players were in pursuit of a relentless attack towards their opponent's king. 24...Ra4 would have been a better continuation for Black instead of 24...Qxc4. It allowed White to turn things in his favor 25.Rxd3 Ba6 26.hxg6 and it's over for Black.
Carlsen - Adhiban: 3-0
Adhiban lost an interesting game against the world no.1 Magnus Carlsen.
Round 4: Navara - Arjun Erigaisi: 0-3
Arjun Erigaisi converted his advantage in the rook endgame quite nicely against the Czech Republic no.1 David Navara.
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Replay Round 1-4 games
Standings after Round 4
All games will start from 9:30 p.m. IST between 18th and 25th September 2022.