Praggnanandhaa beats Magnus three times in-a-row, still Carlsen wins FTX Crypto Cup 2022
Praggnanandhaa did the unfathomable for many, beat the world champion in a Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final round that also a Major one. Sure, many people predicted and hoped for the 17-year-old's victory. Carlsen has won two Regular events in this season and this was his first Major event win. After two draws in the Rapid games, Carlsen won the third one and put Praggnanandhaa in a must-win situation. He not only won that but also won both Blitz tie-break games. Thus, the teenager won the final round of FTX Crypto Cup 2022, however, the world no.1 won the tournament as he was already ahead by two points. He becomes the first person to beat Carlsen three times consecutively in a MCCT event final round. Photo: chess24
Praggnanandhaa pulls off a stunner
Jan-Krzysztof Duda was the only person to beat Magnus Carlsen in this event. That changed yesterday, when Praggnanandhaa defeated Magnus Carlsen three times consecutively to win the final round and finish second. This is really an impressive performance by the wunderkind. He bettered his last Major event's performance of a fourth place finish at Oslo Esports Cup back in April. Alireza Firouzja finished third 15/21.
Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa: 2-4
Carlsen made a dubious knight sacrifice. Practically it worked out, however, Praggnanandhaa could have made things difficult for the world champion in their very first game of the final round.
Carlsen - Praggnanandhaa, Game 1
Of course, Black cannot take it immediately as 24...Qxc5 runs into 25.Rd8+ tactics causes Black to lose material and the game. 24...Ne8 was played 25.Nxe6 and now 25...Qxc4 was required to be played. 25...Qb7+ allowed White to keep the c4-pawn for some more time.
Praggnanandhaa provided staunch defense in the second game to hold a draw. However, in the third game, the teenager's rook and knight against the worlc champion's rook and bishop turned out to be frail as the Norwegian found a way to score a full point. Thus, putting Praggnanandhaa in a must-win situation in the fourth game, to force tie-breaks.
Praggnanandhaa - Carlsen, Game 4
38...h3 or Qg3 would have kept things in balance. The world no.1 and endgame maestro made a rare miscue 38...Bd3 39.Qd2 keeps the c4-pawn tactically defended. 39...Bf5 40.Qg5 h3 41.Nxd6 hxg2+ 42.Kg1 Qe1+ 43.Kxg2 Black soon ran out of checks and White won the game in another eight moves.
Praggnanandhaa won both Blitz tie-break games, although he was completely lost in the second one. The world champion was certainly not at his best in both blitz games, perhaps maybe because he realized that he had already won the tournament. That does not take anything away from Praggnanandhaa's monumental victory.
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