File photo of R Praggnanandhaa.
India’s teenaged Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa began his campaign in the star-studded Julius Baer Generation Cup online rapid tournament, the seventh leg of the USD 1.6 million Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, with wins over veteran Vasyl Ivanchuk and Jan Kryzstof Duda of Poland. He then beat another veteran Boris Gelfand in the third round before losing to American 15-year old Christopher Yoo on Monday. The 17-year old Chennnai prodigy came up trumps against 53-year old Ukrainian legend Ivanchuk in a battle of generations to pick up three points.
Ivanchuk bounced back from the setback against Praggnanandhaa to win his next three rounds.
Praggu, as he is known in chess circles and who has beaten world champion Magnus Carlsen twice this season, was heading for top spot after registering three wins but was pegged back due to a loss in the final round.
Carlsen has made a strong start and has a one-point lead after the opening day of the tournament.
He scored wins over India’s Arjun Erigaisi, Adhiban Baskaran and Liem Quang Le with only Dutch No.1 Giri preventing him from taking the maximum 12 points. He is on top with 10 points.
Behind the favourite are four players on nine points, including Praggnanandhaa, American Hans Niemann and Arjun Erigiasi.
Meanwhile, 19-year old Indian Erigaisi recovered from his opening round loss to Carlsen to score three wins. He beat Adhiban, Liem and Czech player David Navara.
After the preliminary rounds are completed, the tournament will move to the knockouts before a two-day final.
The eight-day event will run till September 25 and features 16 players spanning three generations.
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