Praggnanandhaa wins the Challengers Chess Tour
With a stunning performance that earned him praise from the world’s elite, R. Praggnanandhaa beat American talent Christopher Yoo 3-0 to win the $ 40,000 Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour on Sunday.
As in the previous two games, Praggnanandhaa won with one game to lose in the best of four quick fixtures. In total, Praggnanandhaa scored a formidable 8.5 in nine games. He could have finished with an astonishing 9/9 score had he not chosen to shoot from a winning position against rival Vincent Keymer in the semi-finals.
Praggnanandhaa not only won $ 12,500, but also secured the right to play with the creamy layer of the chess world in the $ 1 million Meltwater Champions Tour in 2022.
Indian Ches Tour will start next year
While world champion Magnus Carlsen was among the first to congratulate Praggnanandhaa on Twitter, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and strongest player in chess history Judit Polgar also praised the 15-year-old player from Chennai.
Kramnik said of Praggnanandhaa: “He reminds me so much of young Vishy (Anand). Judit tweeted: “An absolutely brilliant piece from Praggnanandhaa.”
When asked how he plans to celebrate his title triumph, the youngster said: “Actually, I have to prepare for the FIDE Grand Swiss (October 27 to November 7 in Riga, Latvia), so I probably won’t see the failures for a day or something. “
Above all, what Praggnanandhaa saw above the table on Sunday against Yoo was amazing.
In the first game, Praggnanandhaa played black and punished Yoo for a dubious killer strike on the 50th move. Over the next five moves, the queens returned to the chessboard and Praggnanandhaa moved within two moves of taming his rival after picking up two minor pieces.
In the second match, which lasted 76 strokes, the extra knight of Praggnanandhaa proved to make the difference. Needing only a draw in two games to win the title, Praggnanandhaa kept the pressure on in Game 3. He had a four pawn advantage late in the game where players each had a rook and came close to 15 moves after delivering a checkmate when Yoo resigned.
Later, speaking of Praggnanandhaa facing the best players in the world on the Champions Tour next year, Kramnik said. “First of all, he’s improving all the time and there is still time before this event. With this level of play, he is already definitely a very serious force and can challenge many players there. I’m sure he will improve by then. I think he won’t be worse than any other player. He totally belongs to this Tour, so I’m really interested to see how he’s going to do there. But I’m sure he will do well.
Final: R. Praggnanandhaa v Christopher Yoo (United States) 3-0.