Chess World Cup: Praggu’s moves too good for Nakamura

August 13, 2023

ChessChess Tournament


Young GM R Praggnanandhaa today won both the rapid games to eliminate second-seeded Hikaru Nakamura to enter the last-16 stage of the FIDE World Cup here today.

After the two classical games ended in draws, the 18-year-old Indian, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday, stunned the American GM in the tiebreak games.

Five-time world champion and Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand hailed the young GM, saying: “Praggnanandhaa does it! Eliminating one of the pre-tournament favourites Hikaru Nakamura to go through to the next round. A truly impressive performance by Prag!”

Praggu, as he is known among the fans, was joined in the last-16 by fellow teenager D Gukesh, who ousted Andrey Esipenko.

Praggnanandhaa will meet Hungarian GM Ferenc Berkes in the Round of 16. However, Nihal Sarin bowed out of the competition, losing both the tiebreak games to Ian Nepomniachtchi in the fourth round. Vidit Gujrathi and Arjun Erigaisi had already secured the last-16 berths.

In the women’s section, D Harika advanced at the expense of Eline Roebers, winning the rapid tiebreak.

However, the country’s No.1 women’s player Koneru Humpy was ousted by Bella Khotenashvili as she lost both the tiebreak games after the two-match classical series had ended 1-1, with each player securing a win.

Harika is the only Indian player remaining in the women’s event.

A total of 13 teams will compete in the 3rd Khelo India junior women’s hockey league 2023 from August 13 to 22 and August 24 to September 2 respectively.

As per organisers, the main purpose of these Khelo India Women’s leagues is to not only strengthen the domestic competition structure and the talent identification but also to empower the girl athlete to compete and find her footing in sports as a career.

The Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, under the Sports for Women component of Khelo India Scheme, had organized two editions of the competition in 2021-22 and 2022-23.

The Women’s Leagues witnessed more than 250 competitions with participation of more than 23,000 women athletes across various age groups. The Khelo India Women’s Leagues were held in more than 50 cities located across 26 States/UTs. Multiple national records have also been set during various stages of the League. IANS

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