FIDE World Cup: Praggnanandhaa R Enters Semis With Win Over Arjun Erigasi – Apna TPO

Indian chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa R booked a place for himself in the semifinals of the ongoing FIDE World Cup, underway in the Azerbaijan capital city of Baku.

Praggnanandhaa got a hard-fought win over compatriot Arjun Erigasi after having trailed for the majority of the fixture to become the first Indian to reach the final four of the prestigious tournament.

In the other quarterfinal rounds, Indian hopes Gukesh D and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi were shown the exit door, despite their valiant performances.

Gukesh went down to Magnus Carlsen, while Gujrathi was ousted by Abasov Nijat.

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Praggnanandhaa received a bye in his opening round before he went on to outclass Maxime Lagarde in the second round, and David Navara in the third.

The 18-year-old got the better of American GM Hikaru Nakamura in the fourth round before his win over Hungarian Ferenc Berkes to reach the quarterfinal.

Erigasi, who was also awarded a bye in the first round, beat Sergei Azarov in the second round before ousting Vladimir Fedoseev in the third-round opponent. He got the better of Javakhoir Sindarov in the fourth round and he continued his fine form in the 5th round as he eliminated 30-year-old Swedish GM Nils Grandelius.

Gukesh outclassed Hao Wang in the fifth round of the event after having breezed past Andrey Esipenko in the fourth round after wins over SL Narayanan, and Misratdin Isakdarov following his opening-round bye. However, the 17-year-old was outplayed by the Norwegian maestro Carlsen in the quarters.

Gujrathi, who had made his foray into the quarterfinals with a fifth-round win over Russian Grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi in a marathon fixture after triumphs over Bacrot Etienne, Bluebaum Matthias, Mastrovasilis Dimitrios in the previous rounds, after being handed a first-round bye.

However, the 28-year-old’s title dream at Baku came to a grinding halt as Nijat beat the Indian to set up a semifinal clash against Carlsen.

Prag is slated to face off against Italian-American player Caruana Fabiano in the final four of the prestigious FIDE World Cup for the chance to earn a seat in the grand final of the event.

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