Following an intense period of three days and four games featuring tense chess matches in two different formats, Magnus Carlsen finally secured victory in the FIDE World Cup for the first time in his career on Thursday. His opponent in the final was India’s rising star Praggnanandhaa, an 18-year-old prodigy. However, before Carlsen’s triumph, Praggnanandhaa pushed him to a tie-breaker, adding to the suspense. Carlsen’s victory was officially confirmed after the second tiebreaker game. The preceding Tuesday and Wednesday had seen one drawn game each between the two players.
Despite ultimately losing in the final, the FIDE World Cup held special significance for the young talent from Chennai. This is because Praggnanandhaa secured a spot in the prestigious Candidates Tournament, an event designed to determine the contender for the world champion title currently held by Ding Liren in the upcoming world chess championship.
Pragg, who celebrated his 18th birthday during the World Cup, became the youngest finalist in the history of the World Cup, and he also holds the distinction of being the youngest winner of the tournament. Despite being seeded at 31, Pragg managed to reach the final, making him the lowest-seeded player to ever achieve this level of success in the World Cup.
By making it to the final, Praggnanandhaa joined the ranks of the third youngest players ever to qualify for the Candidates tournament, a feat previously accomplished by the legendary Bobby Fischer and Carlsen himself.
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