R Praggnanandhaa loses Chess FIDE World Cup 2023 final against Magnus Carlsen
The Norwegian won the first of the two rapid chess rounds after a draw in the two classical series games.
World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen beat R Praggnanandhaa in the first rapid chess tiebreaker round to win the Chess FIDE World Cup 2023 title. The final scoreline of the final tie was 2.5-1.5 in favour of the World No. 1. The Norwegian, with the win, is now the title holder for the first time in the history of the competition, having never qualified for the finals before the 2023 edition.
Magnus Carlsen started the first tiebreaker rapid chess round with Black and managed to push Praggnanandhaa to the edge in the early moments. Praggnanandhaa lost a lot of time and was forced to give up in the end as the Carlsen took the lead for the first time in the tie.
In the second tie-breaker round, with Magnus playing White, Praggnanandhaa had an uphill task of turning around the game as even a draw would have meant Magnus being crowned as the World Cup winner. A tactical masterclass from the World No. 1 saw him force a draw against the 18-year-old Indian and thus win the title for the first time in his career.
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Praggnanandhaa, playing in his first finals, had an impressive tournament, with many impressive performances against higher-ranked opponents. The Indian No. 5 defeated the likes of Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana and Arjun Erigaisi on his route to the finals.
The youngster also qualified for the Candidates 2024, a tournament that is the first step for the players to qualify for the World Chess Championships. And with Magnus Carlsen reportedly not very keen on playing in the Candidates, Praggnanandhaa would have a relatively easier path to the World Chess Championships.
Of all the players already qualified for the Candidates 2024, Praggnanandhaa is the youngest. Apart from Praggnanandhaa, Fabiano Caruana and Ian Nepomniachtchi are the two confirmed participants. Depending on the decision of Magnus Carlsen, Nijat Abasov could be the third player to qualify for the Candidates through the World Cup.
The top two finishers in the FIDE Grand Swiss Tournament 2023, the winner of the FIDE Circuit 2023 and the player with the highest rating in January 2024 will be the rest of the players to join the above list in the Candidates 2024. The winner of the Candidates 2024 will play China’s Ding Liren in the World Championships 2024.