Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa looking to be sharp and ready before Kolkata test

Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa is preparing in earnest for the Tata Steel India rapid chess tournament which begins in Kolkata from November 17.

Published: 15th November 2021 03:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2021 02:02 PM   |  A+A-

Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa

Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa (Photo| Twitter)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa is preparing in earnest for the Tata Steel India rapid chess tournament which begins in Kolkata from November 17. Since the Chess World Cup, 'Praggu' as he is affectionately known, has been playing on-board chess.

He has had mixed results in the last six months where featured in some online events too. A few weeks back, Praggu put up his best show in the Challengers Chess Tour with a 3-0 victory over Christopher Yoo in the finals.

He beat Volodar Murzin 3-0 in the quarterfinals while getting the better of Vincent Keymer 2.5-0.5 in the semifinals. This stunning performance earned him praise from the top players in the including world champion Magnus Carlsen. 

The youngster not only won USD 12,500 but also gained the right to play with the elite of the chess world in the million-dollar Meltwater Champions Tour in 2022. "I am very happy to have won the Challengers chess tour and qualify for the Champion chess tour 2022. The Champions tour will give me great experience and I will learn a lot from playing against all the top players," said Praggu.

"I didn't expect to win with 8.5/9 in the knock-out matches of the Challengers Chess Tour. My game quality of all three matches were good. I am earnestly preparing for the Tata Steel India rapid event in Kolkata. The good show in the Challengers tour will give me the confidence to do well," he added.

While Alireza Firouzja won the Grand Swiss event, the event was keenly contested and followed world over and many felt that Praggu could have done better. "My performance in Grand Swiss could have been much better. I played a few good quality games and got the chance to meet and interact with many top players after a long time. Alireza's performance was just wonderful. It really inspires and motivates me to work harder," observed Praggu.

Like in cricket, chess players have to be in a bio-bubble too. Many chess players found it difficult to play in the bio-bubble in Riga. But the 16-year-old seemed unfazed and was in his element in the RTU Open blitz event.

"It was not difficult (bio bubble), I must say a huge thanks to FIDE and Grand Swiss for their great hospitality and excellent arrangement in these tough times. I was pleased to win RTU Open blitz title with a 10/11 score. I was in particular very happy to win RTU blitz event ahead of many strong players. I won against Nihal, Arjun Erigaisi, Sanal Vahap which was good," recollected the chess prodigy.
 



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