Teen India GM Praggananandhaa storms into final

26 May,2022 08:46 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Manisha Mohite

Praggu and Liran will fight it out in an eight-game final to be played on Wednesday and Thursday night

Rameshbabu Praggananandhaa



"9.30 PM. Isn*t that a kid*s bedtime in Chennai?" tweeted Anish Giri of the Netherlands, currently ranked World No.10. This cheeky query was aimed at his semi-final opponent in the MCCT Chessable Masters Online Rapid tournament, Rameshbabu Praggananandhaa, 16, and the time reference was to the scheduled time of their encounter.

Praggu was more than awake, in fact, he was at his devastating best and knocked out Giri 3.5-2.5 in one of the most shocking results of the tournament to advance to the finals early on Wednesday morning.

The first four rapid games resulted in a 2-2 tie with Praggu winning the second game and Giri equalising with a victory in the fourth. The two tie-break games were played in Blitz format, where Praggu won the first game and settled for a draw in the second in an advantageous position to advance to the finals.

In another sensational result, Ding Liren, rated 2nd in the world rankings defeated reigning World Champion Magnus Carlsen 2.5-1.5. Praggu and Liran will fight it out in an eight-game final to be played on Wednesday and Thursday night.

After a draw in the first game, the second game was a masterclass in the art of attacking by Praggu. One of the most beautiful games seen recently, the game was rich in tactics, where Praggu playing White, was in his element, discarding the most obvious and natural-looking moves in the Grunfeld.

The pieces appeared to move magically in harmony to Praggu*s tune and pace. Giri, subjected to a ferocious attack, failed to defend accurately, leading to a spectacular checkmating net. Giri sporty as ever, endeared himself to the following spectators with an admiring and appreciative expression, acknowledging Praggu*s effort.

"Our opening strategy worked well. Pragg is playing with increased confidence in his abilities. Today, he has to give his exams at 9am and then prepare for the final in the afternoon," said an elated RB Ramesh, his coach.

"I am so very impressed with Praggu*s game quality and super proud of him," gushed his elder sister R Vaishal. The brother-sister duo will represent Indian teams in the forthcoming Chess Olympiad, beginning in Chennai on July 28.

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