Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen draw FIDE World Cup final first game


In a highly anticipated showdown, India’s Praggnanandhaa and reigning World No 1 Magnus Carlsen engaged in the opening game of the FIDE World Cup final on Tuesday.

The match concluded in a draw after a total of 35 moves. Pragg, wielding the white pieces, initially held a time advantage at the commencement of the battle. However, despite his advantage, he was unable to press the attack and eventually found himself in a time crunch by the conclusion of the game.

Both contenders are slated to return for Game 2 of the final on Wednesday. Praggnanandhaa, who had stunned World No 3 Fabiano Caruana on Monday through a tie-break in the semifinals, secured his spot in the summit clash against Carlsen at the FIDE World Cup. By reaching the final, Praggnanandhaa cemented his place as the third youngest player, following the footsteps of the legendary Bobby Fischer and Carlsen, to qualify for the prestigious Candidates tournament.

Following the game, Carlsen revealed that he encountered a couple of challenging days in Baku due to a bout of food poisoning after his semi-final victory over Nijat Abasov. In the other match of the day determining the third-place finisher, Azerbaijan’s Nijat Abasov managed to overcome Caruana, gaining a 1-0 lead in their head-to-head contest.

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