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Praggnanandhaa overpowers Cheparinov and Vitiugov, now World no.16

by Shahid Ahmed - 18/09/2023

India no.3 GM R Praggnanandhaa defeated GM Ivan Cheparinov (Magic Extremadura) and GM Nikita Vitiugov (C A Jaime Casas de Monzon) to become World no.16 in the live ratings. Praggnanandhaa is playing for the defending champion team, C A Solvay which won the Spanish Team Championship Honor Division last year. India no.1 GM D Gukesh is the only other Indian in his team. Currently, Gukesh is playing in Armageddon Championship Series 2023 Grand Finale. So he is yet to join the team. GM Raunak Sadhwani and GM S L Narayanan are playing for the same team MyInvestor Casablanca. Raunak made a perfect 2/2 start like Praggnanandhaa. Can C A Solvay win it again for the second consecutive year? We will know in the next few days. Praggnanandhaa will face GM Etienne Bacrot (Gros Xake Taldea) in Round 3 today from 4 p.m. local time, 7:30 p.m. IST. Photos: FEDA

Praggnanandhaa and Raunak win two in-a-row

Team C A Solvay drew the first round against Magic Extremadura 3-3. In the second round, they defeated C A Jaime Casas de Monzon by a minimum margin 3.5-2.5. Currently, DuoBeniajan Costa Calida and C A Silla - Integrant col·lectius are the coleaders 4/4, followed by Magic Extremadura and C A Solvay at 3/4 each.

GM R Praggnanandhaa is now World no.16 in the live ratings

Round 1: C A Solvay - Magic Extremadura: 3-3

In the first round, GM R Praggnanandhaa (C A Solvay, 2727) was paired against GM Ivan Cheparinov (Magic Extremadura, 2654). The game reached an equal same color bishop endgame after 44th move.

Praggnanandhaa - Cheparinov

Position after 52...Kf7

White traded the pawns 53.gxf5 gxf5. The position is still balanced. However, Praggnanandhaa wanted a win. He kept grinding the World no.1 and arrived at a desired position.

Position after 82.Bc7!

Black is in a virtual zugzwang! The king cannot move as the e5-pawn will fall. Moving the bishop means, allowing white to give a check 82...Bc5 83.Bd8+ Kf7 84.Kg5 e4 85.fxe4 fxe4 86.Kf4 e3 87.Kf3 and the position remains balanced. 82...f4? helps White. 83.Kg4 Bc5 84.Bd8+ Kg6 after a couple of moves White played the only winning move 88.d6! Bxd6 89.Bxb6 Bb4 90.Bd8 and White went on to win the game eventually. White stumbled for a moment before the finish line, allowing Black to salvage a draw. However, Black misplayed once again to lose the game.

GM R Praggnanandhaa (C A Solvay) grinded for 114 moves to win against GM Ivan Cheparinov (Magic Extremadura)

C A Solvay - Magic Extremadura: 3-3

Round 2: C A Solvay - C A Jaime Casas de Monzon: 3.5-2.5

Just like the match-up against Cheparinov, GM R Praggnanandhaa was facing GM Nikita Vitiugov (C A Jaime Casas de Monzon, 2719) for the first time in a rated game.

Praggnanandhaa - Vitiugov

Position after 29.hxg4

In a sharp position, it was Black who made the first mistake which at a first glance seems to be the natural move 29...Qxg4? 30.cxd4 b4 31.Nh2 Qd7? 32.Qc7+- forcing the queen exchange Qxc7 33.dxc7 Ne6 34.Nb5 White's c and d-passed pawns are too strong. Soon Black had to give up an exchange. The technique to convert his advantage into a win was not easy. However, Praggnanandhaa did it diligently and won the game.

Praggnanandhaa beats Cheparinov and Vitiugov, becomes World no.16 - Analysis by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

GM R Praggnanandhaa (C A Solvay) in deep thought against GM Nikita Vitiugov (C A Jaime Casas de Monzon)

GM R Praggnanandhaa is now World no.16 in the live ratings | Source:

C A Solvay - C A Jaime Casas de Monzon: 3.5-2.5

GM Raunak Sadhwani made a perfect 2/2 start for MyInvestor Casablanca

Raunak's teammate GM S L Narayanan had a tough start so far scoring only 0.5/2

For more photos, please click here.


A total of eight teams are taking part in Honor Division in a round-robin tournament. Only six out of 7-12 members can play in each round. The tournament is taking place in Linares, Spain from 16th to 22nd September 2023. The time control was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move.

Replay Round 1-2 Honor Division games

Round 2 results

1C.A. Solvay0.02612ESP3.0 - 3.0Magic Extremadura0.02559ESP
2C.A. Jaime Casas de Monzon0.02581ESP2.0 - 4.0DuoBeniajan Costa Calida0.02639ESP
3Gros Xake Taldea0.02554ESP2.5 - 3.5MyInvestor Casablanca0.02559ESP
4C.A. Silla - Integrant col·lectius0.02602ESP3.5 - 2.5Andreu Paterna0.02578ESP


Standings after Round 2

Pos. Ran. Name Fed.Pts. GamPnt Dir_MP SB_MG Rating average Origin Region 
17DuoBeniajan Costa CalidaESP4.08002639Murcia
24C.A. Silla - Integrant col·lectiusESP4.07072602Valencia
38Magic ExtremaduraESP3.07092559Extremadura
41C.A. SolvayESP3.06.5092612Cantabria
56MyInvestor CasablancaESP2.060102559Aragon
65Andreu PaternaESP0.04.50162578Valencia
72C.A. Jaime Casas de MonzonESP0.04.5015.52581Aragon
83Gros Xake TaldeaESP0.04.50132554Euskadi


Round 3 pairings

1C.A. Jaime Casas de Monzon0.02581ESP-Magic Extremadura3.02559ESP
2Gros Xake Taldea0.02554ESP-C.A. Solvay3.02612ESP
3C.A. Silla - Integrant col·lectius4.02602ESP-DuoBeniajan Costa Calida4.02639ESP
4Andreu Paterna0.02578ESP-MyInvestor Casablanca2.02559ESP



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