Norway Chess chess tournament: 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa crushes Carlsen and leads after three rounds | Chess News

Norway Chess chess tournament: 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa crushes Carlsen and leads after three rounds |  Chess News

That Magnus Carlsen loses is always great news – because it happens very occasionally – but even more so if he is swept off the board by an 18-year-old wonder, the Indian Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, 11th in the world after his brand-new victory today in the 3rd round of Norway Chess in Stavanger (Norway). And it is even more so if the Scandinavian saw himself close to victory when he was actually lost, as he later acknowledged. His defeat, the 2nd this year in the classic (slow) modality, shortens the distance between him and the number two, the American Fabiano Caruana, winner of the Chinese Liren Ding, current world champion in the recovery phase after a long illness .

“I didn’t see Pragg’s winning maneuvers. I thought I had a clear pawn advantage and that I was going to win,” Carlsen acknowledged in his quick conversation with TV2, one of the two Norwegian channels that follow the tournament live (the other is NRK, with a still very large media deployment). elderly). The reporter then told him some words that the American Hikaru Nakamura, 3rd in the world at the age of 36, had just said after beating the Frenchman Alireza Firouzja in sudden death: “I have the impression that Magnus takes risks, perhaps too much, against the young stars, but not against us, the older ones.” And Carlsen admitted: “There may be some truth to that.”

Meanwhile, one floor above, Praggnanandhaa gave two live interviews, to TV2 and (120 million users) with the attitude of someone who goes to the office on any given day. “But aren’t you radiant with joy?” the TV2 presenter asked him: “Well, yes, beating Magnus is, of course, a great achievement,” the Indian responded with the same tone as if he were saying that he had left of raining He only made a substantial statement when Danny Rensch,’s content director, told him: “Until recently you were a very promising wunderkind, but now you can beat anyone.” And finally, the hero of the day revealed: “Yes, now I think I can beat any of them if I play at my highest level, although that happens less often than I would like.” His balance with Carlsen in classical chess now stands at one victory each and four draws.

The truth is that Praggnanandhaa beat one of the best chess players in history in such a way that all the experts present at the tournament headquarters were very impressed. It is true that the Norwegian’s thirteenth attempt is an inappropriate mistake for him, because he gave the impression of not sensing danger when it was evident that his delay in development forced him to be very careful. Your new habit of playing 18 holes of golf in the morning may involve excessive physical strain. Furthermore, it contradicts what he himself has maintained since his adolescence: he never got up before noon because any amount of energy he expended in the morning could be very necessary during the game. And it is also worth remembering that Carlsen does not usually perform at his best in the first rounds of tournaments, and especially in his country, with all the focus on him. Finally, it is worth insisting that Carlsen’s statement after the game is difficult to believe and indicates that he was having a very bad day: his position could not be winning with a totally passive rook, locked in a corner.

Carlsen reflects during his game against Praggnanandhaa this WednesdayStev Bonhage

But, even if all that is true, Praggnanandhaa’s game deserves all the praise you want to give it. It is always said that winning a winning position is usually not easy. And even less so if the opponent is Carlsen and if the position requires computer-like precision and a sophistication typical of the finest players in history. Praggnanandhaa, whose main weak point until now has been his lack of killer instinct, has signed a masterpiece today to take advantage of a bad day for number one.

Ding’s loss to Caruana can only be attributed to the world champion still being far below his best after suffering serious sleep problems for almost a year. After correctly performing his first 24 moves, the Chinese omitted a fairly predictable combination from his opponent, and was lost. If he had made the more obvious defensive play, his position would have been very defendable, with only a slight disadvantage. This victory places Caruana only 14.2 points behind Carlsen on the world list; It is still a considerable distance, but much less than usual.

In the women’s tournament, the great paradox of the Swedish Pía Cramling, astonishing in her sporting longevity, remains. Her third consecutive draw, this time against the world champion, Wenjun Ju, consolidates her in 26th place in the world at the age of 61, with the important nuance that today she has omitted a winning shot two sets before signing the tie. The worst thing for her is that she realized this as soon as the game ended, which undoubtedly influenced the loss of a pawn at the beginning of sudden death, which also ended in a draw (but Cramling was playing with white, which which gives the victory to Jun according to the tournament rules).

Rameshbabu Vaishali, this Wednesday in Stavanger (Norway)Stev Bonhage

The author of this chronicle does not remember any other situation where two brothers, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and Rameshbabu Vaishali – in India the surname is said first and then the name – lead two simultaneous tournaments, one absolute and the other female. With the important difference that today should be one of the happiest days in Pragg’s life. But, at least outwardly, he is unfazed.

Results (3rd round).-

In Norway Chess, every game that ends in a draw is immediately followed (less than 20 minutes) by an Armageddon, with 10 minutes for the white pieces and 7 for the black pieces; In the event of a new tie, the black player wins. Victory in the slow game gives 3 points (zero for the loser); at Armageddon, 1.5 (1 for the loser).

Absolute tournament: Praggnanandhaa – Carlsen, 1-0; Nakamura – Turquoise, boards, 1-0; Carriage – Ding,

Women’s tournament: A. Muzychuk – Vaishali, boards, 0-1; Koneru – Earth; boards, 1-0; Cramling – Ju, boards, boards.


1st Praggnanandhaa 5.5; 2nd Caruana 5; 3rd Nakamura 4; 4th Firouzja 3.5; 5th Carlsen 3 points; 6th Ding 2.5.

Women’s tournament: 1st Vaishali 5.5; 2nd John 4,5; 3rd Law 4; 4th-6th A. Muzychuk, Cramling and Koneru 3.

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2024-05-29 21:52:17
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