MIAMI: Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa produced a superb performance, winning three straight matches including two in the blitz tie-breaks to thwart world No. 1 Magnus carlsen 4-2 in the last round of the FTX Crypto Cup here Monday.
However, despite the win over Carlsen, the 17-year-old could only take second place in the final standings.
The Norwegian won the top prize based on a higher score. He finished with 16 match points against 15 for the Indian prodigy.
“I’ve been playing badly all day, but now I’m getting the results I deserve… it’s never good to lose, but it’s the best time possible!” Carlsen said after the match.
Alireza Firouzja, another highly rated teenager and wonderkid, also finished with 15 points but had to settle for third place as he lost the clash to Praggnanandhaa earlier.
The first two games of the Carlsen-Pragnanandhaa match were drawn before the world No.1 prevailed by winning the third.
In a surprise turn of events, the Indian won game four to push the match into the tie-breaks. He shocked the Norwegian by winning both games on a tie-break.
Praggnanandhaa has been in splendid form this year and had already beaten the world champion twice in online events.
He also played a crucial role in India’s “B” team, winning a bronze medal at the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai recently.
“I think he could have done better in the last few days, but I think 2nd overall is good,” Praggnanandhaa said after the game against Carlsen.
Praggnanandhaa started his campaign with a win over world No. 4 Firouzja and also picked up wins over Anish Giri and Levon Aronian.
“Fantastic finish towards the end! @rpragchess won in tiebreak against Magnus #FTXCryptoCup! Great defensive skills at crucial moments, some good opening builds, some bad decisions, overall very satisfying,” his coach RB tweeted. Ramesh.

In the other final round matches, Firouzja beat Aronian 2.5-1.5, Quang Liem Le (China) beat Hans Niemannwhile Jan-Krzystof of Poland beat Anish Giri 2.5-0.5.
The eight-player all-play-all tournament was the American final of the Champions Chess Tour. Each game was played in four quick games, with lightning tie-breaks in the event of a 2-2 draw.
Final rankings: 1. Magnus Carlsen 16 match points, 2. R Praggnanandhaa 15, 3. Alireza Firouzja 15, 4. Liem Le 12, 5. Jan-Krzystof Duda 11, 6. Levon Aronian 8, 7. Anish Giri, 8. Hans Niemann 0

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