Praggnanadhaa beats Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun in Prague
Ju Wenjun is the current Women's World Champion in Classical and Rapid chess. She was also instrumental in China winning the gold medal at the Batumi Olympiad 2018 by playing on board one. At the Prague Challengers Wenjun was leading the tournament with a score of 3.0/4 with wins over David Paravyan (2627) and Peter Michalik (2565). It was clear that she was in great form. On the other hand Pragg had had a slow start to his event. He lost to Bartel in round one and then three draws against Jiri Stocek (2592), Nguyen Thai Dai Van (2546) and David Paravyan (2627). Clearly he wasn't the favourite when facing Ju Wenjun in round five. But the 13-year-old prepared his opening to perfection, played the middlegame with care, and the endgame like a machine to bring home the full point. Complete analysis of this interesting encounter.
The heartening part about this victory was Praggnanandhaa's technique. Once he had the pawn, he played absolutely without any errors. To do this against a world class opponent and truly commendable. Technique is not Praggnanandhaa's stronghold. One would remember his loss to Maksim Chigaev at the Tata Steel Challengers where Pragg was a pawn up and still lost the game. Pragg seems to have done his homework and that is showing in his games. With four rounds to go, Pragg will face Peter Michalik, David Anton Guijarro, Jan Krejci and Alexei Shirov.
Ranking crosstable after Round 5
|3||GM||Anton Guijarro David||2643||ESP||0||½||*||½||1||1||3,0||0,0||7,00||3|
|7||GM||Nguyen Thai Dai Van||2546||CZE||½||0||½||*||½||1||2,5||0,0||5,50||2|
We reported on rounds 1-3 with Vidit's win over Gelfand and Harikrishna's victory against Duda. In the fourth round Vidit was outplayed by Sam Shankland. Usually Vidit is extremely solid with the white pieces, but against Sam's Grunfeld, something went wrong right out of the opening and the US Champion finished off the game well. In round five Vidit drew with the black pieces against Viktor Laznicka. He is on 2.5/5. Harikrishna after losing to Vitiugov in round two, beat Duda and then followed it up two draws in rounds four and five, against Wojtaszek and Rapport. Hari has faced all three top scorers in the tournament - Duda, Vitiugov and Wojtaszek. Hence, we can expect a strong finish from him in the rounds to come.
Ranking crosstable after round 5 in Masters
Duda is the leader in the tournament. In spite of his loss to Harikrishna he has come back strong in round four with a win over David Navara.
|7||GM||Vidit Santosh Gujrathi||2711||IND||½||1||0||*||½||½||2,5||0,0||5,75||3|
Round 7 will see Harikrishna and Vidit being pitted against each other. Hari will have the white pieces. The action each day begins at 7.30 p.m. IST and you can follow all the games on ChessBase Live.