Praggnanandhaa wins classical game against Carlsen for the first time, takes solo lead

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Stavanger. Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa won the classical game for the first time against world number one Magnus Carlsen and took a solo lead in the Norway Chess Tournament. 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa, who has defeated Carlsen in rapid and online matches, lost to the Norwegian player in the last World Cup final but finally succeeded in defeating him in 37 moves in the classical game here. The last three games between Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa in this format were draws. With this victory, Praggnanandhaa has taken a lead of 5.5 points in the men’s category after three rounds.

Praggnanandhaa won playing with white pieces and with this defeat, Carlsen slipped to third place in the points table with three points. The Indian Grandmaster has maintained a half-point lead over world number two player Fabiano Caruana of America. Caruana defeated defending world champion Ding Liren of China. This is his first win over Liren in the classical format. With this defeat, Liren is jointly placed fourth with two other players in the six-player table. He has 2.5 points. Hikaru Nakamura of America and Firouzja Alireza of France are also jointly placed fourth.

Nakamura won one and a half points by winning the Armageddon (sudden death) game after drawing the classical game against Alireza Firouzja of France. Nakamura will face Praggnanandhaa in the fourth round. On Carlsen’s decision to play a risky game against Praggnanandhaa, Nakamura said, “I hope Magnus will take similar risks against us.” Classical chess is also known as slow chess and in this the player gets enough time to make moves and generally a player has at least one hour of time.

Praggnanandhaa’s sister R Vaishali is also leading in the women’s category. She also has 5.5 points. Vaishali won the Armageddon game and got one and a half points after drawing the classical game against Ukraine’s Anna Muzychuk in the third round. Muzychuk got one point. China’s women’s world champion Wenjun Xu is second with 4.5 points while her compatriot Tingji Lei is third with four points. Muzychuk, Sweden’s Pia Kremling and India’s Koneru Humpy are jointly fourth with three points. Seven rounds of play are remaining in both categories of the tournament.

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