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30/05/24 | 9:57 am

Norway Chess: Praggnanandhaa defeats Magnus Carlsen in classical format for first time

Indian teenage chess sensation R. Praggnanandhaa defeated world number one Magnus Carlsen in the classical format for the first time at the ongoing Norway Chess tournament on Wednesday.

During round three, the 18-year-old battled the Norwegian star on his home turf and came out victorious to take the sole lead in the open section of the six-player tournament. Using white pieces, the runner-up from last year’s FIDE Chess World Cup displayed some intelligent moves against Carlsen for a win.

At the end of the third round, Praggnanandhaa’s tally is 5.5 out of nine points, while Carlsen has slipped to the fifth spot.

Earlier, Praggnanandhaa had notched some wins over Carlsen in rapid and blitz chess games.

In Round 2 of the prestigious Norway Chess tournament, all three classical games ended in draws on Tuesday at the SpareBank 1 SR-Bank. Magnus Carlsen, Alireza Firouzja, and Ding Liren won with white in the subsequent Armageddon games to grab 1.5 points each.

Praggnanandhaa R, who held a 2-0 head-to-head lead against World Champion Ding Liren, played out his first classical draw in the round of the Norway Chess 2024 main event. The Chinese GM then emerged victorious in the Armageddon tie-breaker, as per a press release from Norway Chess.

In the highly anticipated pairing of the day, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura played out a closely contested classical game that ended in a draw. Carlsen, demonstrating his exceptional skill under pressure, managed to secure a crucial victory in the Armageddon game, adding to his impressive record and taking the lead with 3 points in the tournament standings.

Meanwhile, Alireza Firouzja and Fabiano Caruana also drew their classical game after a complex struggle. Firouzja’s abilities in speed chess shone through in the Armageddon game as he bagged crucial points.

Vaishali R defeated fellow Indian Koneru Humpy to register her first classical win in the Norway Chess Women’s Tournament. Despite Humpy’s slight advantage in the opening, a critical blunder under time pressure allowed Vaishali to claim victory. This was her first-ever win against India’s number one female player, making her India’s number two female player on the live rating list.

The other two classical matches between Lei Tingjie and Pia Cramling, along with Ju Wenjun and Anna Muzychuk, ended in hard-fought draws. The Chinese duo of Wenjun and Tingjie emerged victorious in their respective Armageddon games.

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