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Oslo Esports Cup R4: Carlsen crushes Praggnanandhaa, joins the lead

by Shahid Ahmed - 26/04/2022

Magnus Carlsen brought an end to Praggnanandhaa's winning streak in the fourth round of Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Oslo Esports Cup. Pragg played well in the first game. However, he was unable to maintain accuracy when the time got low. In the second and third game, the 16-year-old made some simple mistakes which cost him the game. It goes without saying that it is certainly okay to lose against the world champion, many stalwarts have fallen in the battlefield against him on multiple occasions. The teenager is just getting started. This win allowed Carlsen to join Pragg in the lead with 9.0/12 and $22500 earnings. Pragg will face the popular streamer Eric Hansen in Round 5. It starts tonight at 9:30 p.m. IST. Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Duda closes in

FIDE World Cup 2021 winner, Poland no.1 Jan-Krzysztof Duda defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 4-2 in the tie-breaks. He reduced the gap between him and the tournament leaders Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa. The Pole is now at 7.0/12 and has $17500 earnings.

Praggnanandhaa fought valiantly against Carlsen | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa: 3-0

In the first game, the critical mistake by Praggnanandhaa would be to go into a major piece endgame with two pawns down.

Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa, Game 1

Position after 21.Qe3

The a7-pawn is under attack and Black has split pawns on the queenside. Since the position is open, keeping the bishop would make more sense, although Black needs to be careful about the knight jumping to f6 via e4. According to the computer 21...Qb4 22.b3 Qa5 23.Rxc6 Rac8 is fine for Black. 21...Bd5 was played 22.Nxd5 Qxd5 23.Rxa7 Rae8 24.Re7 Rxe7 25.Qxe7 Black is now in a difficult fight to survive, especially against endgame maestro like Carlsen.

Praggnanandhaa blundered an exchange in the second game.

Praggnanandhaa - Carlsen, Game 2

Position after 29...Nh5

30.Rg4 is the correct way to proceed. However, White made a mistake here 30.Bxd8 Nxf4 31.Nd4 Qe4 32.Qxe4 dxe4 33.Bxb6 Rxc1+ and it's over for White. Carlsen gained a 2-0 lead in the match which means Pragg was in a must-win situation in the third game.

Being in a must-win situation, Pragg pushed too hard. There was actually no attack, yet he went for it anyway and had to pay a heavy price for it.

Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa, Game 3

Position after 24...Rh4

Black had to play positionally like 24...Qc7 25.g3 Qb7 and so on. Instead, 24...Rh4 does not yield anything. There is absolutely nothing for Black. Soon White invaded through the queenside and converted the decisive advantage comfortably.

The Magnus Carlsen Masterclass to Praggnanandhaa | Video: ChessBase India
Pragg's reaction after blundering against Carlsen | Video: ChessBase India

Praggnanandhaa suffered his first loss of the event against Magnus Carlsen | Photo: chess24

Magnus Carlsen is world number one for a reason | Photo: chess24

Round 4 in progress | Photo: ChessBase India live stream

Replay the live stream

Oslo Esports Cup 2022 Round 4 Live commentary by IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 4 games

Round 4 results

Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Jorden van Foreest won their respective games in tie-breaks | Photo: chess24

Standings after Round 4

Carlsen joined Praggnanandhaa at the top with 9 points and $22500 earnings | Photo: chess24

Round 5 pairings

Praggnanandhaa will face Eric Hansen in Round 5 | 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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