The Indian Chess Prodigy’s R Praggnanandhaa finished second on the medal tally at the FIDE World Cup 2023. The 18-year old went down to World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen in the tie-breaker.
Despite the loss in the final, Pragg won billion hearts and inspired several chess players. E Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Praggnanandhaa’s remarkable performance and appreciated his skill and grit in giving a tough fight to Carlsen in the final.
India’s Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur congratulated the Indian chess prodigy, calling his journey at the 2023 FIDE World Cup, brilliant. He said, “Praggnanandhaa’s strategic prowess shone brightly amongst the world’s finest, as he admirably outwitted his opponents in a thrilling display of wits amid nerve-wrecking games and tie-breakers.”
“Praggnanandhaa has not only made India swell with pride but also captured the admiration of billions across the globe. The entire nation is delighted with his achievements and the country awaits his future accomplishments,” he further added.
Speaking of the final match, in the first game Praggnanandhaa’s surprised Carlsen with his choice of variation in the Italian Opening. However, two impulsive decisions cost the teenager the first game.
In the second rapid game, the World no.1 opted for the Alapin variation in the Sicilian. There was not much to fight for, and the game ended in a draw and Carlsen won the FIDE World Cup 2023, for the very first time in his career.
Meanwhile, for the third spot, Fabiano Caruana crushed Nijat Abasov in both tie-break games.
Following the FIDE World Cup performance, Praggnanandhaa, Caruana and Abasov, have qualified in the Candidates.