Chessable Masters: Pragg beats Carlsen as Wei leads

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
5/21/2022 – Wei Yi continues to lead the standings in the preliminary stage of the Chessable Masters, as he collected two wins and two draws in Friday’s rounds. David Anton and Magnus Carlsen are sharing second place three points back. Carlsen kicked off the day with a loss — for a second time in the tour, the world champion was defeated by 16-year-old Indian prodigy Praggnanandhaa.

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Van Foreest the top scorer on day 2

Meltwater Champions Chess TourThree players are still undefeated at the Chessable Masters after eight rounds of rapid chess. Besides Wei Yi, who is leading the standings on 15/24 points, Anish Giri (14 points) and Ding Liren (12) have not lost a single game so far in the online event.

Wei beat Eric Hansen and Jorden van Foreest with the white pieces and drew both his games with black to keep the lead after an impressive performance on opening day. Two players stand three points behind the Chinese star in shared second place — David Anton and Magnus Carlsen. Giri is in sole fourth place a further point back.

The first round of the day saw the world champion losing to Praggnanandhaa. The young Indian had also defeated Carlsen at the Airthings Masters in February. Unlike in that encounter, when Pragg outplayed his famed opponent, this game was decided by a one-move blunder, as Carlsen faltered in a drawn position.

Van Foreest, who had finished day 1 in shared last place, scored three straight wins at the start of the second day of action. Despite losing to Wei in the eighth round, the Dutchman climbed to the top half of the standings table. The winner of the 2021 Tata Steel Masters was the top scorer on Friday, with 9/12 points.

Chessable Masters 2022

Carlsen’s blunder

It has been a great spring for Praggnanandhaa, who in April both won the Reykjavik Open and finished third at the La Roda Open. The 16-year-old now can add a victory over the world champion to his list of successes in the season. For a second time in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, Pragg beat Carlsen in the preliminary stage.

The youngster confessed that he is currently taking school exams, but he is nonetheless sharing fifth place on 12/24 points. Against Carlsen, it was all decided by a single blunder.

 

Inexplicably, the world champion here faltered with 40...Ng4, which immediately loses the knight to 41.Rg7+. Resignation followed.

Carlsen bounced right back, as he defeated Abhimanyu Mishra in the following round. After drawing Pentala Harikrishna with black, the Norwegian finished the day with a victory over Sam Shankland.

 

A tricky rook endgame

Our in-house endgame expert, GM Karsten Müller, shares with us the analysis of an instructive rook endgame from the fourth round. Shankland was a pawn up in a pure rook ending with pawns on the same flank. In the following position, only one move saves the draw for black.

 

Hansen faltered here with 48...Kf5, when 48...Kg7 is the only defence. As GM Müller explains, “Rook endings have a large drawish tendency, but over the board this is more difficult than behind a computer with tablebases”.

Check out the full analysis in the replayer below.

 

Crosstable (win = 3 points, draw = 1 point)

 

All games

 

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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