Airthings Masters R5-8: Praggnanandhaa beats Magnus Carlsen for the very first time
Until yesterday, Vishy Anand and Pentala Harikrishna were the only two Indians ever to beat Magnus Carlsen in a tournament game. Praggnanandhaa changed that fact in the eighth round of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Airthings Masters. The 16-year-old boy from Chennai, scored an important victory over the world champion as the latter made a tactical error in the endgame. The prodigy ended the day the exact way he started his day, by winning his game. He scored 7.0/12 on Day 2, taking his overall score to 8.0/24. Nepomniachtchi has taken the lead 19.0/24, followed Ding Liren and Eric Hansen at 15.0/24 each. Carlsen's score is 13.0/24. Round 9 starts tonight at 10:30 p.m. IST.
Praggnanandhaa beat Aronian and Carlsen within hours apart
There was never a doubt that Praggnanandhaa has what it takes to beat the world's best. It was just the lack of opportunity hindered the talented kid from showcasing his skills. Becoming a regular at Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022 season means he will get plenty of opportunities. He is not planning on waiting anymore as he showed why he belonged there by defeating two-time FIDE World Cup winner Levon Aronian and the reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen on the very same night.
Round 5: Praggnanandhaa - Aronian: 1-0
Praggnanandhaa started the day with a victory against Levon Aronian.
White has got himself a pleasant position after 25.Nb5. Find out the correct plan for white which Praggnanandhaa executed in the game.
Black should have taken the knight 33...Nxb5 to minimize White's attack. 33...Qxb4 only made things worse for Black after 34.Nxc7 Nxc7 35.Rxc7 Ra2 36.Qf3! threatening Qxf6 with a double attack on g7 and d8. Rest was just a matter of technique, which Praggnanandhaa converted beautifully into a win.
Keymer - Giri: 1-0
Vincent Keymer started the day with a victory over Anish Giri. The Germany no.1 made a beautiful sacrifice which turned things completely in his favor.
Try to calculate all lines after 22.Rxf7 and figure out why it works.
Round 6: Mamedyarov - Praggnanandhaa: 1-0
Praggnanandhaa not getting a good position out of the opening almost forced him to try something against Shahkriyar Mamedyarov.
22...Rfd8 was a better alternative. Black does not lose material after 23.Bxc6 bxc6 24.Rxe7 Kf8. 22...Qg1+ did not do any good for Black as the rooks remain undeveloped. 23.Bc1 Bc5 24.Rg2 Qe1 25.Rxb7 Rac8 26.g6 and White's attack on the kingside is crushing. There is not much Black can to do about it.
Round 7: Praggnanandhaa - Giri: 0.5-0.5
Praggnanandhaa drew with Anish Giri comfortably.
Round 8: Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa: 0-1
Praggnanandhaa undoubtedly scored the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Magnus Carlsen for the very first time in a tournament game.
The world champion made a rare tactical error 32.Nc3 in a seemingly equal endgame. Try to find out why it is a blunder. Praggnanandhaa found it and wrapped up the game in another seven moves.
How the universe reacted to Pragg's victory over Carlsen
The maestro Vishy Anand
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar
Replay the live stream
Replay Round 5-8 games
Standings after Round 8
All games will start from 10:30 p.m. IST between 19th and 26th February 2022.