Teen prodigy R Praggnanandhaa is on the verge of creating history as he takes on five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen in the final showdown of World Chess Champion on Tuesday, August 22. The 18-year-old defeated World No 3 GM Fabiano Caruana 3.5-2.5 in a semifinal decided by a single tiebreak win.
Road to final
Praggnanandhaa received a bye in the first round of the event in Baku. In the second round the 29-year-old French player Maxime Lagarde was defeated by the Indian GM by 1.5-0.5. Pragg’s next opponent was an experienced Czech GM David Navara, but he breeze past with a score of 1.5-0.5.
In the next round, Praggnanandhaa eliminated American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura in the tiebreakers. The duo had managed to draw both of their classical games in the fourth-round encounter. Praggnanandhaa won the match with a score of 3-1.
In the fifth round, Praggnanandhaa defeated Hungarian Ferenc Berkes 1.5-0.5 to reach the sixth round, where he took on compatriot Arjun Erigasi.
Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa became the 1st Indian after Viswanathan Anand to reach Chess World Cup semis since 2002. The Grandmaster defeated compatriot Arjun Erigaisi 5-4 to enter the semifinals.
Carlsen vs Praggnanandhaa
Praggnanandhaa defeated Carlsen in February 2022 at the Airthings Masters (an online rapid chess tournament), in the process becoming the youngest person to defeat Carlsen since he became world champion in 2013.
The second time he stunned the Norwegian was at the Chessable Masters online rapid chess tournament on May 20.