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Praggnanandhaa wins Xtracon Open 2019, Vaishali makes her maiden GM norm

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/07/2019

India's wunderkind 13-year-old GM R Praggnanandhaa started out Xtracon Open 2019 as the 21st seed, scored an unbeaten 8.5/10 at a performance rating of 2741, to win the tournament convincingly. He finished a half point ahead of the pack of five players who were all higher rated than him. His sister WGM R. Vaishali also performed admirably by scoring 7.5/10 and scored her maiden GM-norm and second IM-norm. She is the only woman to have finished in top 25 in the tournament. One of the newest IM's of India, 11-year-old Bharath Subramaniyam H also made his presence felt, by finishing at 16th ahead of 11 other GMs and beating two 2600+ opponents. Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Golden Indian siblings dominate at Denmark

The Golden siblings Vaishali and Pragg along with their mother Nagalakshmi | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Praggnanandhaa made a hard fought draw in the last round against GM Samuel Sevian of USA in marathon game of 73 moves where the majority of the game was Queen ending. Pragg was worse throughout the game and showed some fantastic defensive skills to hold a nearly lost queen endgame. This crucial half point helped him to win the biggest tournament of his chess career.

Pragg showed his indomitable spirit in the final round, fought hard to secure a draw | Photo: Xtracon official site

With a performance of 2741, scoring wins against Korobov, Vocaturo, Karthikeyan and holding Tari, Andersen and Sevian to a draw is a definitely a show of excellence

Here is Pragg's final round game against Samuel Sevian:

WGM Vaishali delivered a stellar performance to score her maiden GM-norm | Photo: Xtracon official site

Vaishali beat 3 GMs, drew with 1 and earned her first GM-norm and second IM-norm

Just like her brother, Vaishali also played a marathon game consisting of 72 moves in the final round to defeat GM Jonny Hector of Sweden. Vaishali had double rook and double bishop against double rook, bishop and knight which eventually liquidated into a winning rook and bishop against rook and knight endgame.

One of the newly minted IM of India, 11-year-old Bharath Subramaniyam H continued his fantastic form at Xtracon | Photo: Xtracon official site

Despite suffering an early setback, Bharath bounced back strong, finished with 7.5/10

Bharath made a strong comeback by defeating GM Rasmus Svane (2615) of Germany in round 7. Then he lost against Norwegian GM Aryan Tari (2620) in round 8, but that did not deter Bharath from his goal. He drew with local GM Sune Berg Hansen (2575) in the penultimate round and went on to beat GM Igor Lysyj (2623) of Russia in the final round.


Bharath accepted a piece sacrifice early in the game. Now whether this was a sacrifice or a blunder is an open question. However his opponent Lysyj did not manage to cause as much damage to Bharath's kingside as he would have preferred. Bharath made use of his extra material at the very end of the game, to bring the full point and become the youngest to finish in top 20 in this tournament.

Karthikeyan Murali finished 17th with 7.5/10 | Photo: Xtracon offficial website

Final Ranking after 10 Rounds

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
121GMR PraggnanandhaaIND25408,555,057,250,0
28GMTari AryanNOR26208,057,054,750,0
33GMSargissian GabrielARM26818,054,550,250,0
413GMPostny EvgenyISR26018,053,551,500,0
54GMSevian SamuelUSA26678,053,546,500,0
617GMRasmussen Allan StigDEN25698,052,051,750,0
714GMKryakvin DmitryRUS25867,557,551,000,0
89GMSvane RasmusGER26157,555,550,750,0
92GMKorobov AntonUKR26877,555,548,500,0
101GMGrandelius NilsSWE26917,554,549,250,0
115GMHammer Jon LudvigNOR26377,553,548,250,0
1211GMVocaturo DanieleITA26127,553,547,500,0
1312GMAndersen MadsDEN26057,553,047,250,0
1415GMKollars DmitrijGER25817,552,548,250,0
1549WGMR VaishaliIND23447,552,047,250,0
1632CMH Bharath SubramaniyamIND24057,552,047,000,0
1710GMKarthikeyan MuraliIND26137,552,046,000,0
1830IMHolm Kristian StuvikNOR24697,549,044,500,0
196GMMoiseenko AlexanderUKR26287,549,043,750,0
2028IMHauge Lars OskarNOR24767,549,042,500,0

Complete standings


We will soon have interviews with Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali published on our newspage along with inputs by their trainer R.B. Ramesh. Stay tuned.