Ice cool Praggnanandhaa beats Fire on Board Alexei Shirov at Prague Challengers 2019
From a slow start at the Prague Challengers 2019, Praggnanandhaa has picked up pace and scored two back to back victories to catapult himself into the leaders group with 3.5/6. Pragg's win against Ju Wenjun was a fine technical effort, while his sixth round victory against Alexei Shirov was a game where the 13-year-old's opening preparation and lack of opening knowledge for Shirov led to a dominant position for Praggnanandhaa in just 15 moves. Rest of the game was all about how well Pragg could convert his edge. Although Pragg was not 100% clinical, his technique was good enough to get the full point. The Masters section had a rest day so Vidit and Harikrishna will be back in action from the 12th of March.
Shirov's book fire on board gave him the brand of an attacking, creative genius. However, that's just one facet of his play. Shirov is an opening expert and also a brilliant endgame player. His highest rating at some point in his career was 2755 and he fought for the FIDE World Championship crown against Anand in 2000. He has beaten Kramnik in match format and is one of the finest players the game of chess has ever seen. Off late his motivation has surely dipped, which is the reason why his rating has come down to 2667. However, on any given day, he could be in an inspired mood and the fans would love to see the glimpses of the old aggressive Shirov. It was not to be against Praggnanandhaa. The 13-year-old Indian GM played well to beat Alexei in round 6 of the Prague Masters 2019. Let's have a look at the critical moments of the game:
Praggnanandhaa vs Shirov, Round 6
Standings after round 6
Pragg's game was the only decisive one in round six. With this victory Praggnanandhaa joins the leaders. Peter Michalik, Ju Wenjun, Anton David and Jan Krejci, all of them are in joint lead with 3.5/6. The finish of this tournament is going to be very interesting.
|4||GM||Anton Guijarro David||2643||ESP||0||½||*||½||½||1||1||3,5||0,0||9,50||4|
|7||GM||Nguyen Thai Dai Van||2546||CZE||½||½||½||0||*||½||1||3,0||0,0||8,50||2|
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