In the Chess World Cup 2023, India’s rising star, Praggnanandhaa, achieved a remarkable victory over Fabiano Caruana from the USA in tiebreaks during the semifinals. This impressive win paves the way for an exciting showdown with the reigning World No. 1, Magnus Carlsen, in the FIDE World Cup 2023 finals on Monday. Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, the Indian Grandmaster, secured his memorable victory over Fabiano Caruana in the intense semi-final encounter, with a final score of 3.5-2.5 in favour of Praggnanandhaa.
This remarkable triumph not only secured his spot in the Candidates 2024 tournament but also earned him praise from chess legend Viswanathan Anand, who took to Twitter to commend the 18-year-old prodigy. Anand expressed his admiration, stating, “Pragg advances to the final! He triumphs over Fabiano Caruana in the tiebreak and will now face Magnus Carlsen. What an exceptional performance!”
To check Viswanathan Anand’s tweet click https://twitter.com/vishy64theking/status/1693647236335292500?s=20
In the semi-final clash of the FIDE World Cup, Praggnanandhaa surprised the World No. 3, Caruana, after the two-game classical series concluded with a 1-1 tie. Praggnanandhaa’s victory emerged in an exhilarating tiebreaker. The young Indian Grandmaster’s achievement is particularly noteworthy, as he became the second Indian chess player to reach the semifinals of the World Cup, a feat previously accomplished only by Indian chess icon Viswanathan Anand.
This victory will take Praggnanandhaa to the limelight at the upcoming Candidates event in the following year, establishing him as the third youngest player to ever qualify for this esteemed tournament. The previous record was made by Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen. Reflecting on his journey to the final, Praggnanandhaa conveyed his surprise, stating, “The idea of facing Magnus in this tournament never crossed my mind, given that the only chance to cross paths with him would be in the final. I haven’t considered this outcome ever. I’m committed to giving my best and awaiting the result!” He also expressed his excitement as well as satisfaction in securing a position in the Candidates’ event, a goal he always dreamt of accomplishing.
In the context of the broader tournament, Magnus Carlsen, the reigning World Chess Champion, emerged victorious in the first game against Nijat Abasov from Azerbaijan on Saturday. Carlsen’s triumph in the opener was followed by a draw in the subsequent 74-move match, securing his position as the first finalist of the FIDE World Cup 2023 in Baku. In the women’s final, Aleksandra Goryachkina claimed victory over 20-year-old Bulgarian Nurgyul Salimova by winning the second 25-minute rapid game.
Overall, Praggnanandhaa’s exceptional journey in the Chess World Cup 2023, which included defeating strong opponents like Fabiano Caruana, has garnered widespread recognition and anticipation for his upcoming encounter with Magnus Carlsen in the finals.