Grandmasters Praggnanandhaa, Nihal light up final day of Che chess fest
The festival also featured a contest between a team comprising three GMs and one IM from Cuba against a Kerala team in classical, rapid and blitz formats.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The eyes of the world were on the first-ever matchup between grandmasters R Praggnanandhaa and Nihal Sarin at the maiden Che International Chess Festival on Monday. The two teen prodigies crossed swords over ten rounds of the blitz format, with Praggu, the world no.13, emerging a 7.5-2.5 points victor over Nihal, the third GM from Kerala.
The fourth and nine rounds went beyond 80 moves while the seventh lasted just 29 moves. The live telecast of the match attracted over 20,000 viewers from all over the globe. The face-off headlined the final day of the chess festival, organised by the state government, in front of an invited audience at the Grand Hyatt.
“I’m working towards the ultimate goal of becoming a world champion, like any sportsman,” said Praggnanandhaa, who earlier this year became the youngest player to reach the World Cup final. The 18-year-old said that he is working hard for the upcoming Candidates tournament in Canada.
The festival also featured a contest between a team comprising three GMs and one IM from Cuba against a Kerala team in classical, rapid and blitz formats. Training session by IM V Sravanan and a one-day training by reputed coach R B Ramesh, who also trains Praggu, were held for 64 selected Kerala players, drawn from a tournament held at 14 districts, on the third and fourth days.