In a culmination marked by intricate plays and a gamut of sentence structures, Praggnanandhaa’s remarkable streak found its conclusion as he yielded to Carlsen in the tie-break round following the deadlock in the classical games of the ultimate match. The previous Thursday witnessed Carlsen’s triumphant navigation through a formidable challenge posed by his 18-year-old Indian adversary in the inaugural tie-break encounter, securing victory in an impressive 45 moves. In a subsequent iteration of the tie-break protocol, utilizing a time control of 25 minutes with an additional 10 seconds, the second game concluded in a harmonious deadlock after 22 moves were executed.
Expressing an emotion bordering on euphoria, Praggnanandhaa articulated his elation in securing the silver medal in the Fide World Cup 2023, an accomplishment paralleled by the attainment of eligibility for the Candidates 2024 tournament. He conveyed his profound gratitude for the outpouring of affection, reinforcement, and well-wishing from every individual, acknowledging their collective support. These acknowledgments were directed towards his unwaveringly supportive and exceedingly jubilant mother.
A precedent worth highlighting involves Praggnanandhaa ascending as the second Indian participant to secure a berth in the FIDE World Cup, mirroring the trailblazing feat accomplished by the legendary Viswanathan Anand, a quintuple world champion. The semifinal juncture witnessed Praggnanandhaa’s stunning victory over the third-ranked player in the world, Fabiano Caruana, ultimately prevailing with a score of 3.5-2.5 following an intense tie-break.
Concurrently, Praggnanandhaa, alongside his compatriots forming the Indian men’s chess team destined for the Asian Games, is poised to engage in a comprehensive four-day tactical training camp set to transpire in Kolkata, commencing on August 30. The contingent includes luminaries such as GMs Vidit Gujarathi, Arjun Erigaisi, and R Gukesh, with the seasoned Pentala Harikrishna complementing the ensemble as an esteemed member. This assemblage is under the guidance of head coach, the venerable GM Boris Gelfand, and further comprises the expertise of coaches Srinath Narayanan, Vaibhav Suri, and Arjun Kalyan. In a parallel endeavor, a coaching initiative aimed at women’s chess is currently in progress, featuring notable participants including Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Vaishali Rameshbabu, Vantika Agrawal, and Savitha Shri B.
This educational pursuit aligns with the sidelines of the fifth iteration of the Tata Steel Chess India rapid and blitz tournament, scheduled to unfold in Kolkata from August 31 to September 9. Notably, all constituents of the Indian delegation en route to the Asian Games are slated to partake in this tournament, joined by luminaries such as former World Blitz champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and reigning World Champion Wenjun Ju, amplifying the competition’s prestige.