The much-awaited Praggnanandhaa-Magnus Carlsen clash in round eight of Julius Baer Cup ended in a draw. The Indian had beaten the Norwegian ace twice earlier this season in online matches. The world champion offered a round of applause and flashed a thumbs up at the end of their game in appreciation of the 17 year-old Indian’s play.
I didn’t see it then. I just checked it now. I didn’t know (then). It was a great fight, I think,” Praggnandha told Chess24.com.
Praggnandha elaborated further on his game plan against Carlsen. “He had already played this line against Arjun in the first game. I was checking it this morning. The set five is already completely crushing for white; so I am upset that I couldn’t finish him off then.
Praggnanandhaa started the day with a draw against Radoslaw Wojtaszek in the fifth round before taming the highly-rated German Vincent Keymer in the next game.
After the conclusion of the second day of preliminary matches early on Tuesday, Erigaisi is two points clear of Praggnanandhaa and world champion Carlsen (15 points).
Erigaisi started the day with a win over Hans Niemann (USA) and went on to beat Levon Aronian.
The all-Indian clash between Erigaisi and Praggnanandhaa ended in a 67-move draw. Later in the eighth round, the final one of the day, he shared honours with Ivan Saric of Croatia.
Meanwhile, Carlsen resigned from his game against Niemann after just two moves. The world champion came into the sixth round encounter after a defeat at the hands of the 19-year old American in Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, following which he alleged his opponent of cheating and pulled out of the tournament.
Carlsen subsequently scored a win over Aronian in round seven before sharing honours with Praggnanandhaa.
Baskaran Adhiban, the third Indian in the fray, is languishing in the last place in the 16-player event with three points. He faces Praggnanandhaa in the ninth round.
Veteran Ukraine player Vasyl Ivanchuk continued to impress and is in fourth place with 13 points.
The 53-year old did not have a profitable time on day two as he had on the opening day but managed to end it with a win over Keymer. He had lost in two previous rounds to American teenager Christopher Yoo and Poland’s Wojtaszek.
After the preliminary rounds are completed, the tournament will move to the knockouts before a two-day final. The eight-day event will run till September 25 and features 16 players spanning three generations.