Chess World Cup 2023 Final: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen won his maiden World Cup crown after beating India’s teenage sensation R Praggnanandhaa in the tie-breakers in Baku on Thursday, August 24.
Chess World Cup 2023 Final: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen won his maiden World Cup crown after beating India’s teenage sensation R Praggnanandhaa in the tie-breakers of the final in Baku on Thursday, August 24.
It was the first World Cup crown for Carlsen as the 32-year-old added the missing piece to his decorated trophy cabinet.
Magnus Carlsen battled against a bout of food poisoning as he used all his experience to outclass the young Indian, who had developed a great reputation for being a giant killer.
With the silver medal finish at the Chess World Cup, Praggnanandhaa booked his berth at the Candidates Tournament, becoming only the second Indian to do so.
Praggnanandhaa might have lost the big final in Baku, but the 18-year-old from Chennai has etched his name in the history books of Indian chess.
He had become the first Indian after Viswanathan Anand to reach the final and was a victory away from joining the Indian legend at the top.
Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa played out draws in the two classical time control games.
While Praggnanandhaa missed an opportunity to force a result with white piecesq1, Carlsen came up with an interesting tactic, playing for a draw in the second game when he was playing with a white.
Carlsen revealed he wanted an extra day’s rest after the bout of food poisoning and he deliberately took the final to the tie-breakers.
It was a brave call from Carlsen as Praggnanandhaa had been in sensational form in tie-breakers, winning 3 of them before the final.
Both players conceded that they were exhausted and Pragg had played 29 games, 9 more than Carlsen before the final.
It was a battle of wits and tenacity in the final and Carlsen’s experience came into play as Praggnanandhaa was denied a historic win.
Praggnanandhaa missed out on a chance to become the first player in the history of the World Cup to win the crown after beating the top 3 players in the FIDE Rankings.
Pragg reached his maiden chess World Cup final after surviving three tie-breakers, including the ones in the quarter-finals and semi-finals against World No. 2 Hikaru Nakamura and World No. 3 Fabiano Caruana.
Praggnanandhaa has an ELO rating of 2723 in rapid rapidly, but his exploits at the World Cup is a timely reminder that the youngster is at his tenacious best when put under pressure.