Truly "a wonder!" Praggnanandhaa scores his first GM norm
The world was waiting with a bated breath. Praggnanandhaa moved his knight to c6. The little American GM Awonder Liang saw no way to stave off mate and stretched his hand out in resignation! Little Praggu had done it! The boy has scored his maiden GM norm! But there is no time to relax. With 6.5/8 Pragg is in a great position to win the World Juniors title. All that he has to do is beat Norwegian Aryan Tari, who is in the lead, in the ninth round! It's going to be a fascinating finish. We bring you all the action from the eighth round with video analysis by IM Sagar Shah.
Praggnanandhaa scores his maiden GM norm
There was a collective sigh of relief from the entire Indian chess playing population. Praggnanandhaa made his first GM norm! The boy had achieved his IM title one and a half years ago. Every time he would come close to making a GM norm, he would falter. The time to overtake Karjakin's world record of becoming the youngest GM in the world was running out. But Pragg finally delivered and he delivered in style! With a rating performance of 2749, he achieved his GM norm with one round to spare. Mind you, you only need a performance of 2600 to make a GM norm! The first person to tweet about Pragg's GM norm was coach R.B. Ramesh.
First GM norm for Praggnanandhaa! So it begins...— Ramesh RB (@Rameshchess) November 21, 2017
Praggnanandhaa vs Awonder Liang
Awonder Liang is a very strong opponent. Definitely one of the most talented players in the world. He became a GM at the age of 14 years, second youngest in America (after Sevian) and eleventh youngest in the history of chess. With a rating of 2548, Pragg faced a tough challenge in round eight. But the boy from Chennai had absolutely no problems in overcoming his opponent. As early as 10th move he got a nearly winning position!
The rest was not really a problem for Pragg as he made one strong move after another and soon reached a position where his opponent could have resigned:
Video analysis of Pragg's victory:
Karthikeyan's masterpiece!While major focus has been on Pragg, Karthikeyan Murali played a phenomenal attack against Shardul Gagare to move to 6.0/8. Karthi sacrificed a rook, and broke through to mate Black's king. This is a game worth watching and learning from:
Round 8 results:
|1||2||GM||Oparin Grigoriy||2606||5½||0 - 1||6||GM||Tari Aryan||2581||5|
|2||44||IM||Dragnev Valentin||2461||5½||0 - 1||5½||GM||Alekseenko Kirill||2563||11|
|3||26||IM||Praggnanandhaa R||2509||5½||1 - 0||5½||GM||Liang Awonder||2558||14|
|4||32||FM||Sorokin Aleksey||2483||5½||½ - ½||5½||IM||Xu Xiangyu||2543||21|
|5||22||GM||Tran Tuan Minh||2538||5½||½ - ½||5½||IM||Lomasov Semen||2490||30|
|6||6||GM||Karthikeyan Murali||2578||5||1 - 0||5||GM||Gagare Shardul||2482||33|
|7||28||IM||Triapishko Alexandr||2508||5||½ - ½||5||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||2572||7|
|8||16||GM||Petrosyan Manuel||2554||5||1 - 0||5||IM||Gholami Aryan||2483||31|
|9||37||IM||Zanan Evgeny||2471||5||0 - 1||5||GM||Bai Jinshi||2553||17|
|10||18||GM||Shevchenko Kirill||2550||5||½ - ½||5||GM||Salomon Johan||2476||35|
Rank after Round 8
Pairings for round 9:
Round 9 on 2017/11/22 at 15:00
|1||5||GM||Tari Aryan||2581||7||6½||IM||Praggnanandhaa R||2509||26|
|2||11||GM||Alekseenko Kirill||2563||6½||6||GM||Karthikeyan Murali||2578||6|
|3||30||IM||Lomasov Semen||2490||6||6||GM||Petrosyan Manuel||2554||16|
|4||17||GM||Bai Jinshi||2553||6||6||GM||Tran Tuan Minh||2538||22|
|5||21||IM||Xu Xiangyu||2543||6||6||FM||Liu Yan||2422||56|
|6||1||GM||Van Foreest Jorden||2616||5½||6||FM||Sorokin Aleksey||2483||32|
|7||24||IM||Kantor Gergely||2514||5½||5½||GM||Oparin Grigoriy||2606||2|
|8||3||GM||Svane Rasmus||2587||5½||5½||IM||Triapishko Alexandr||2508||28|
|9||7||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||2572||5½||5½||IM||Dragnev Valentin||2461||44|
|10||35||GM||Salomon Johan||2476||5½||5½||GM||Martirosyan Haik M.||2561||12|
World Junior Girls
Two Indian girls have a great chance of winning a medal. They are Aakanksha Hagawane and R. Vaishali.
We are very sure that you have all seen the ChessBase India show that was conducted by IM Sagar Shah when he went to Praggnanandhaa's place in Chennai. However, in case you have missed it, here's your chance to see Pragg in action. How does the boy calculate, what does he think and how is he able to find his way through the maze of complications so easily:
Previous Reports on World Junior Championship
Coverage in English
World Juniors 01: Event opens with early shocks
World Junior 02: Four on a perfect score
World Junior 03: Only one Indian remains at the top
Praggnanandhaa stuns top seed Jorden van Foreest at the World Juniors
World Juniors 04: Harsha Bharathakoti loses his lead
World Junior 05: Chennai champs win the day!
World Junior 06+07: Just past the half way mark Pragg is joint second
Coverage in Hindi
विश्व जूनियर चैंपियनशिप :भारत की युवा उम्मीद !!
विश्व जूनियर चैंपियनशिप 2017 - अभी तो ये आरंभ है !
विश्व जूनियर - क्या प्रग्गानंधा जीत सकते थे ?
Coverage on Firstpost
World Juniors: Harsha Bharathakoti quickly off the mark, Aravindh Chithambaram suffers shock defeat
World Juniors: 12-year-old R Praggnanandhaa chases youngest Grand Master dream, throws tournament wide ope