In the final match of the Chess World Cup, India’s Rameshbabu Pragnanananda faced a defeat against the world’s number one player, Magnus Carlsen of Norway. With this loss, Pragnanananda’s dream of becoming a world champion was shattered. In the tiebreak, Pragnanananda suffered a loss in the first game, making his comeback extremely challenging. Carlsen drew the next game, securing his victory. The classical format matches between the two players had remained draws. The match reached a tiebreaker, and here Magnus Carlsen achieved the honor of becoming the world champion. America’s Fabiano Caruana secured the third position, and Azerbaijan’s Nijat Abasov stood fourth.
On the third day of the final match, Pragnanananda lost the first game with the white pieces. With this loss, his chances of winning were almost decided since winning the next game with the black pieces against Carlsen was a daunting task. In the end, Carlsen played a highly defensive game with the black pieces and consistently maintained his advantage throughout. The game ended in a draw, and Carlsen won the match with the victory in the first game.
What Happened in the Classical Matches?
The first game of the classical format took place between Rameshbabu Pragnanananda and Magnus Carlsen on Tuesday in the Chess World Cup final. Pragnanananda played with the white pieces, and Carlsen with the black pieces. Both players exhibited disciplined gameplay throughout the match. Later, Carlsen attempted to win the match with the black pieces, but Pragnanananda showcased brilliant defensive play and successfully saved the match. After 35 moves, both players shook hands, and the game ended in a draw.
The second classical match was played on Wednesday. In this game, Carlsen played with the white pieces, and Pragnanananda with the black pieces. Both players displayed disciplined strategies, and it seemed from the beginning that the match would end in a draw, which eventually happened. The battle lasted for an hour, during which 30 moves were played by both players. The match remained tied, and ultimately, both players decided to settle for a draw. Carlsen had a slight advantage in terms of time initially, but he couldn’t capitalize on it, and towards the end, he started lagging behind in time.
After securing a spot in the final, Pragnanananda became the third-youngest player to qualify for the Candidates Tournament, following the footsteps of chess veterans Bobby Fischer and Magnus Carlsen.