Indian GM Praggnanandhaa stuns No. 2 seed Nakamura

07:54 PM Aug 11, 2023 | PTI |

Baku: Young GM R Praggnanandhaa on Friday won both rapid games to eliminate second-seeded Hikaru Nakamura to enter the last 16 of the FIDE World Cup chess tournament here.


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 tie-break games today.

Five-time world champion and Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand hailed the young GM and said, ”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 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, another Indian – Nihal Sarin- bowed out of the competition, losing both the tie-break games to Ian Nepomniachtchi in the fourth round.


Indian players Vidit Gujrathi and Arjun Erigaisi had already secured last 16 berths.

In the women’s section, D Harika advanced at the expense of Eline Roebers, winning the rapid tie-break. However, the country’s No.1 women’s player Koneru Humpy was ousted by Bella Khotenashvili (Georgia) as she lost both the tie-break 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.


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