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Charity Cup R5-8: Praggnanandhaa stuns World no.3 Ding Liren

by Shahid Ahmed - 21/03/2022

Praggnanandhaa is yet to face Ding Liren in an over-the-board tournament. Their first encounter was a blitz game in May 2021. It ended in a draw. Almost a year later, they faced each other for the very first time at Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Charity Cup in an online rapid game. Praggnanandhaa emerged victorious against the world no.3. He also had a good chance against Duda which he missed in Round 5. Pragg is now at 12.0/24. Vidit 10.0/24 and Harikrishna 8.0/24. World Blitz 2013 champion, Liem Le Quang soared to the top and gained sole lead with an unbeaten 20.0/24, followed by Carlsen and Duda at 16.0/24 each. Round 9 starts tonight at 10:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Rupali Mullick

Liem takes sole lead

Liem Le Quang had a fantastic second day. He beat Gawain Jones, Ju Wenjun and Vidit Gujrathi to take sole lead. He is also the only player to have remained undefeated so far. Jorden van Foreest has suffered only one loss out of eight games.

Praggnanandhaa scored an impressive win over Ding Liren | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Round 5: Praggnanandhaa - Duda: 0-1

Praggnanandhaa started the second day with a loss. However, he got a couple of good opportunities against Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the final moments of the game.

Position after 33...Kg8

34.fxg7 Ne6 35.Qd1 Rxd5 36.Qxd5 would have been winning for White. Of course it was not easy to figure it out in time scramble and the position was quite complex too.

Position after 36...Qd3

Perhaps the best opportunity White had in the game was after 36...Qd3. 37.Rd1 forces a resignation as the c2-queen is a taboo Qxc2 38.Rd8+ Kf7 39.g8Q+ followed by a forced checkmate in all possible variations. Thus, sacrificing the queen would have been the only option left for Black 37...Rxg7 38.Rxd3 cxd3 39.Qb3+ Rf7 40.e5 was the best course of action for White.

Round 6: Vidit - Anton: 0-1

Vidit Gujrathi had a very good position against David Anton Guijarro. He suddenly misplaced his rook and things turned completely in favor Spain no.2.

Position after 33...b3

34.Nxe5 Kxe5 35.Bxb5 axb5 36.a6 Ba8 37.a7 maintains the upper hand for White. However, in the game White opted for the strange 34.Ra3. It completely turned things in Black's favor 34...Rc2 35.Rxc2 bxc2 36.Ra1 e4 and it was all over for White.

Carlsen - Navara: 0-1

Magnus Carlsen suffered his second loss of the event against the Czech Republic no.1 David Navara.

Position after 34.d5

The light square weakness around the white king makes it quite vulnerable. 34...Rb2 35.e5 Qh3 36.Nd2 fxe5 37.Rxe5 h6 38.d6 Bc6 and things fell apart in a hurry for the world champion.

Round 7: Navara - Niemann: 1-0

David Navara won an endgame against Hans Niemann which is very similar to how Carlsen won against Nepomniachtchi in Game 6 at FIDE World Championship 2021.

Position after 51...Kxd5

52.Rxh6 and we got a similar position to what the world championship witnessed after 115th move. Only this time it was f and g-pawn instead of e and f-pawn. The result was the same, White won.

Peter Heine Nielsen, World Champion Magnus Carlsen's head coach, tweeted on the endgame

Round 8: Ding - Praggnanandhaa: 0-1

It was only Praggnanandhaa who had if any a winning chance, provided his opponent make a grave mistake. World no.3 Ding Liren did just that.

Position after 42.Kb2

42.Ra1 and things would have remained fine for White. However, 42.Kb2 creates an opportunity for Black. Can you find out the minute difference and best continuation for Black?

Final moments of Praggnanandhaa beating world no.3 Ding Liren | Video: ChessBase India

Round 7 in progress | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Replay the live stream

Charity Cup 2022 Round 5-8 Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 5-8 games

Standings after Round 8

Liem Quang Le took sole lead 20.0/24 | Photo: chess24

All games will start from 10:30 p.m. IST between 19th and 26th March 2022.


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