Julius Baer Challenge: Praggnanandhaa dominates

by André Schulz
12/13/2022 – The two winners of the Julius Baer Challenger Tour 2021 and 2022, the young Indian grandmasters Praggnanandhaa and Pranav Venkatesh, currently play a three-day rapid and blitz match in Tel Aviv. After two best-of-three rapid matches follow two best-of-four blitz matches. Praggnanandhaa won both rapid matches and has very good chances to win the event.

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The winner of the event, which is organised by the Play Magnus Group, will receive USD 10,000. The time-control for the rapid games is 10+5, the time-control for the blitz games is 3+2.

Praggnanandhaa clearly dominated the rapid games. He won the first set 2.5-0.5 and the second set 2-0.

In the first game of day two Praggnanandhaa had White and tried a quiet and positional line (6.Bd3) against Pranav's Najdorf. Pragg soon got a dangerous initiative but Pranav defended well. However, he finally collapsed under the ongoing pressure.


In the second game Pranav had White and the King's Indian attack to get winning chances but Pragg kept cool and managed to liquidate into a rook ending in which he was clearly better. However, a number of inaccuracies by Pragg gave Pranav good drawing chances. But then Pranav returned the compliment and Pragg won the game.

Pranav is now trailing 0-2 and has two win both blitz sets to equalize the match.





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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.