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Oslo Esports Cup R3: Fiery Praggnanandhaa bests Liem, scores a hat-trick

by Shahid Ahmed - 25/04/2022

Praggnanandhaa es en fuego which means Praggnanandhaa is on fire. He beat World Blitz 2013 champion Liem Le Quang in a similar fashion as he beat Jorden van Foreest and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the first two rounds of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Oslo Esports Cup. Liem was just coming off of a victory against Carlsen in Round 2. Pragg drew the first game, won the second one by taking the attack to his opponent. A time scramble caused both players to err in the third game. In the end, it was Liem who made the final mistake which caused Pragg to win the game and match. Carlsen displayed a positional masterpiece as mentioned by Peter Leko to beat Anish Giri and get back on the winning side. Carlsen vs Pragg in Round 4 starts tonight at 9:30 p.m. IST. Photo: chess24

Minimalist Pragg has all the momentum

Praggnanandhaa scored a hat-trick by winning all three matches in just three games, the minimum required to win a match. He will face the toughest challenge of the tournament in the form of Magnus Carlsen in Round 4. We all remember Pragg beating the world champion for the very first time, a little over two months ago at Airthings Masters.

Praggnanandhaa is undoubtedly in the form of his life | Photo: chess24

Liem - Praggnanandhaa: 0.5-2.5

The first game was a draw. Both players were gauging each other, Pragg had some small chances but nothing substantial. The second game went Pragg's way.

Praggnanandhaa - Liem, Game 2

Position after 34.h6

34.h6 is a fantastic attacking move Qxd4 35.Qxg5 Qg4? Black needed to play 35...Ng4 to prevent the checkmate threat at g7. 36.Qc5 Qf4 37.Qxc6 Qxh6 38.Rxe8+ Rxe8 39.Bxb5 things went out of Black's hand. Soon Black had to give up an exchange to get rid of the passed b-pawn but it was already too late. Pragg arrived at a Rook vs Knight endgame. It became just a matter of time and technique for him to convert it into a full point.

Praggnanandhaa vs Le Quang Liem | High class play in complex position | Video: ChessBase India

Praggnanandhaa decided to sacrifice an exchange as he gained the second pawn for it.

Liem - Praggnanandhaa, Game 3

Position after 22...Bxd4

Praggnanandhaa played 22...Bxd4 confidently. He was not afraid of 23.Bb4 as he was ready with a rebuttal Ne5 24.Bxf8 Kxf8 25.b3 b5. Now that's a play of someone who is only playing for a win.

Position after 30...Rd7

31.Rxd7 Qxd7 shows that he is not afraid of playing a Rook and Bishop vs Two Knights endgame. He believes in the passed pawn at c4 because he can go for a draw.

Position after 51.Rc7

In time scramble, Pragg first made a big mistake. Soon his opponent made a bigger mistake 51.Rc7 which cost him the game. 51.Be4 would have forced Black to draw the game by perpetual check Qe2+ 52.Kg1 Qe1+. Find out the winning continuation for Black after 51.Rc7.

Final position after 54...Nexg4+

Another day another beautiful finish by Pragg. No matter what happened earlier, a cute finish like that definitely makes one's day.

Praggnanandhaa beat World Blitz 2013 champion Liem convincingly | Photo: chess24

Carlsen made a short work of Giri | Photo: chess24

Round 3 in progress | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Replay the live stream

Oslo Esports Cup 2022 Round 3 Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 3 games

Round 3 results

Carlsen, Duda and Praggnanandhaa won their Round 3 matches in just three games | Photo: chess24

Standings after Round 3

Praggnanandhaa maintains his sole lead with 9 points and $22500 earnings | Photo: chess24

Round 4 pairings

Pragg will battle against Magnus Carlsen in Round 4 | Photo: chess24

All games will start from 9:30 p.m. IST between 22nd and 28th April 2022.

Links

Official site

Tournament regulations


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