R Praggnanandhaa Beats Arjun Erigaisi 5-4 In FIDE Chess World Cup
18-year-old Indian chess player R Praggnanandhaa has advanced to the semifinals of the FIDE World Cup chess tournament after defeating fellow Indian player Arjun Erigaisi.
Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa won the match 5-4 in a sudden death tie-break. This victory also puts him in a strong position to secure a spot in next year’s Candidates event, which determines the challenger for the world champion.
Praggnanandhaa had to bounce back after losing the first game of the two-game series, but he won the second game to force a tie-break.
In the tie-break, he won the first blitz game, but Erigaisi leveled the match in the next game. The quarterfinal match went back and forth, with both players winning games, until it reached a sudden death decider. Praggnanandhaa showed great composure and emerged as the winner.
This achievement makes Praggnanandhaa only the second Indian, after five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, to reach the Candidates event. The Candidates event is crucial because the winner gets the opportunity to challenge the current world champion, Ding Liren.
It is worth noting that two other Indian players, D Gukesh and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi, were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the tournament. Gukesh lost to world No.1 Magnus Carlsen, while Gujrathi was defeated by Nijat Abasov.
The top three finishers in the FIDE World Cup qualify for the Candidates event in 2024. With Carlsen unlikely to participate in the Candidates, Praggnanandhaa has a strong chance of securing his place in the tournament.
This is a significant achievement for the 18-year-old prodigy, who is making a name for himself in the world of chess. He has already earned the title of Grandmaster.