Oslo Esports Cup: Praggnanandhaa wins third match in a row

by André Schulz
4/25/2022 – After three rounds 16-year old Indian talent Praggnaanandhaa is sole leader at the Oslo Esports Cup and the only player who won all three matches. In round three Pragg defeated the Vietnamese Grandmaster Le Quang Liem. Magnus Carlsen, who seems to suffer from a severe cold, won against Anish Giri and after two wins and one loss he is in second place.| Photos and pictures: PM Group

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Magnus Carlsen won the first two tournaments of this year's Meltwater Chess Champions Tour but in the first round of the Oslo Esports Cup, the third event of the series, the 16-year old Praggnanandhaa had the best start. Pragg is the youngest player in the field and – together with the Canadian Eric Hansen – also the player with the lowest Elo-rating.

Unlike the other tournaments of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, this online tournament is a pure round robin tournament, without a knock-out phase. And all eight players are not sitting at home in their study or in their living room, but meet in a studio in Oslo to play online via screen and computer.

At the Oslo Esports Cup, matches are played over a maximum of four rapid games. The winner of a match receives three points. In the event of a tie, there will be a play-off. In this case, the winner of the match receives two points and the loser one point.

After winning 2.5-0.5 against Jorden van Foreest on Friday, and 2.5-0.5 against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov on Saturday, Praggnanandhaa continued his winning streak on Sunday and defeated Le Quang Liem 2.5-1.5.

 

"Today it was difficult," Pragg said after the match. "In the first game I was winning, but then I played b3 pretty quickly and he got counterplay. In the second game it was very complicated and in time trouble I didn't know what was happening. In the last game I definitely didn't play that well, but made some mistakes in time trouble."

Usually Magnus Carlsen dominates the online tournaments of "his" Champions Chess Tour. But the Norwegian World Champion seems to suffer from a cold and cannot bring all his energy to the virtual board, and on Saturday, Carlsen lost in round 2 against Le Quang Liem. In round 3, against Anish Giri, however, Carlsen did not show any weakness and won 2.5:0.5. The first game ended in a draw but then Carlsen secured the match with two wins.

Magnus Carlsen

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World Cup winner Jan-Krzysztof Duda claimed his second match in a row by defeating Dutchman Jorden van Foreest 2.5-0.5.

In the fourth match "ChessBrah" streamer Eric Hansen prevailed against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Hansen won the first game, but the second game went to Mamedyarov. After a draw in game three, the last game went to the Canadian again.

In round 4 Praggnanandhaa will face Carlsen. The round will start again at 6 pm.

Standings after three rounds

Some endgame highlights, selected and annotated by Karsten Müller:

 
 

Games

 

Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

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