Creating history, Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa has etched his name as the first Indian, apart from the iconic Viswanathan Anand, to secure a place in the semifinals of the FIDE World Cup chess tournament held in Baku. In an intense game on Thursday night, he emerged victorious against fellow countryman and close friend Arjun Erigaisi with a 5-4 win in the sudden death tie-break, thus propelling himself into the prestigious Chess World Cup semifinals.
This remarkable triumph has earned the 17-year-old chess sensation from Chennai a coveted position in the semifinal clash against American maestro Fabiano Caruana. Additionally, Praggnanandhaa’s victory has positioned him on the brink of confirming his participation in next year’s Candidates event, solidifying his status as a frontrunner in the chess world.
By virtually securing a berth in the Candidates tournament, this young chess luminary is poised to stand alongside the illustrious Viswanathan Anand as the only Indians to grace this esteemed event. Given that world No.1 Magnus Carlsen is unlikely to partake in the Candidates, Praggnanandhaa’s presence in the tournament could potentially determine the contender for the reigning world champion, Ding Liren.