Pragg started with 4-0 – Impressions from Düsseldorf

by Shahid Ahmed
8/28/2023 – After arriving from Baku and resting the first day, R Praggnanandhaa continued where he left off at the FIDE World Cup 2023. The sensational teenager scored four wins in-a-row for WR Chess at FIDE World Rapid Teams 2023. Meanwhile GM D Gukesh (Kompetenzakademie Allstars, 2629) faced the 14th world champion, GM Vladimir Kramnik (Chess Pensioners, 2739) for the first time in an over-the-board rated game. He made the most out of his opportunity and won comfortably. Impressions from Düsseldorf with videos by Sagar Shah.

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Let us start with a video report by ChessBase India's IM Sagar Shah:

Sagar tells us how he embarked on the journey from Mumbai, India, to the FIDE World Rapid Team Championships in Dusseldorf, Germany. Sagar introduces us to the beautiful city of Dusseldorf, and gives us a tour of the playing venue.

The tournament venue is on the banks of the river Rhine | Photo: Sagar Shah

Convivial pre-tournament lunch in a Düsseldorf restaurant, with Frederic Friedel, son Martin, Prof. Christian Hesse, Vishy Anand and Vidit Gujarathi.

Vidit Gujrathi comes across as a very kind and soft spoken individual. But behind that cool demeanour is a man who is thoroughly determined and driven. After a great performance at the FIDE World Cup 2023, where he reached the quarter finals, he travelled to Dusseldorf. There Sagar interviewed him on how he beat a strong player like Nepo in Baku, how heartbreaking was it to lose to Abasov and get eliminated.

WR Chess Team might be the second seeded on paper but they have eight GMs in the team having countless accolades between them | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The playing venue in the Düsseldorfer Rhein Terasse

In his first four games Pragg defeated GMs Evgeniy Najer (Freedom), Raunak Sadhwani (MGD1), Rasmus Svane (Germany and Friends) and Sebastian Siebrecht (Kompetenzakademie Allstars).

Watch the intense game Pragg played against GM Evgeniy Najer in the fifth round, and FIDE activities at the tournament in Düsseldorf.

The match Chess Pensioners vs Kompetenzakademie Allstars. How did it end?

Five to one, would you believe it. Vladimir Kramnik was defeated by Gukesh, whom he had trained when the lad was 13 (now he is seventeen). Student defeats mentor! Sagar shows us how the super-talent was able to outwit the season professional. Watch the thrilling encounter to see what happened in the game:

Replay Chess Pensioners vs Kompetenzakademie Allstars games

This is where you can find all the results and (currently) 864 games

And this is the official web site of the event

Shahid Ahmed is the senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India. He enjoys covering chess tournaments and also likes to play in chess events from time to time.