Carlsen shows his class, tames Pragg to claim the crown

  • Magnus Carlsen came good when it mattered and stopped R. Praggnanandhaa 2.5-1.5 for his maiden World Cup title in Baku, in Azerbaijan.
  • After the two classical games ended in draws, Carlsen won the first rapid game – Facing a must-win situation in the second game with black pieces, Praggnanandhaa, at best, could get a draw which he eventually did in just 22 moves.
  • Carlsen may have proved his class, but this World Cup will be remembered for Praggnanandhaa leading India’s charge in the premier competition. For the first time, four Indians made it to the quarterfinals, with the fourth Indian Vidit Gujrathi accounting for the last Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, seeded four.
  • Praggnanandhaa took out World No. 2 Hikaru Nakamura and World No. 3 Caruana as he played way over his ranking.
  • “I think it’s good for the game and I am very happy to see so many people following it. It would be nice to see many kids coming to the game and I feel like that’s where it’s heading to. It (reaching the final) will get more people to play chess and I think, in general, people will start to notice Indian chess. I think that many people are recognising the sport and I think more people are coming to the game,” said Praggnanandhaa.
  • A chess prodigy, he became an international master at the age of 10, the youngest at the time to do so, and a grandmaster at the age of 12, the second-youngest at the time to do so.
  • “India is becoming a chess powerhouse globally. Now we have a World Cup finalist after Anand. Nations like Russia and the USA were dominant in chess. Now, it is changing.” – All India Chess Federation

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