Pragg Vs Carlsen: No Moon In Sight Yet

Game Two drawn, Thursday tiebreaker to decide championship winner

FIDE Chess World Cup 2023 final

The suspense continues in the FIDE World Cup chess final in Baku, Azerbaijan. Game Two between India’s R Praggnanandhaa and World No 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway also ended in a draw.   

Indian fans had hoped a victory in Wednesday's second game would coincide with the successful moon landing of Chandrayaan-3.    

The contest will now be decided in a tiebreaker on Thursday. 

The second game, where Pragg played with black pieces, lasted 30 moves over nearly 90 minutes. The two players agreed to a draw in an equal bishop ending.  
On Thursday, two tie-break games in rapid format will be played with a time control of 25 minutes for each player + 10 seconds increment per move, starting from move 1.

The first two games were as per the classical format. The time control for each game is: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.

In the semifinals, Praggnanandhaa had upset World No 3 Fabiano Caruana via the tie-break, much to the delight of Indian chess fans. In the process, he became the third youngest player after the legendary Bobby Fischer and Carlsen to qualify for the Candidates tournament.

"It feels really good to qualify for the Candidates; I really wanted to fix this spot," Pragg said.  

About reaching the final, he said, "I didn't expect to play Magnus in this tournament at all because the only way I could play him was in the final, and I didn't expect to be in the final. I will just try to give my best and see how it goes.”

Growing up in Chennai, Praggnanandhaa took up chess watching his elder sister Vaishali play. Today he is the present and future of Indian chess.