Pragnanandhaa: Five wins and a miscalculation

by André Schulz
7/17/2023 – Four games, four wins — that was Praggnanandhaa’s tally at the start of Geza Hetenyi Memorial in Budapest. Pragg thus became the eighth Indian to break the 2700-elamark. However, the Indian speed train was stopped in the fifth round when he lost to Amin Tabatabaei. The prodigy returned to his winning ways the very next round, as he defeated Peter Prohazka with black on Sunday. | Photo: Zoltan Fülöp

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One more 2700+ Indian player

Praggnanandhaa is leading the standings at the Geza Hetenyi Memorial 2023 in Budapest, a classical round-robin tournament in Budapest, where the pieces are placed in the basic position according to the old-fashioned rules — and the result is also recorded classically, with one point for a winner and half a point for each player in case of a draw

The organisers have put together an interesting field, including a number of young talents. Indian rising star Praggnanandhaa recorded a rocket start with 4 out of 4 and naturally became the player to beat in the early stages of the tournament.

In the fifth round, he reached an imbalanced endgame against Iran’s Amin Tabatabaei — queen, rook and a minor piece against a queen and two rooks — with roughly equal chances. Tabatabaei, playing white, already had an advanced passed pawn. But his unsteady king limited his options.

After an inaccurate queen move, however, the game tilted in Tabatabaei’s favour.

In the sixth round, an unfazed Praggnanandhaa claimed his fifth win in the sixth game against Hungary's Peter Prohaszka.

In the live ratings list, Praggnanandhaa gained 17.6 points in this tournament and jumped over the 2700 barrier and remains with momentum to up his gains. 

Following one point behind is Tabatabaei, who had 4/5 points after beating Praggnanandhaa. In the sixth round, however, the Iranian lost to the experienced Pavel Eljanov. 

This unusual geometric setup emerged from a Giuoco Piano:

White won after 43.Rxc7 Rxh5 44.Kh2 Rf5 45.Rh4+ Kg6 46.Rg4+ Kf6 47.Kg3 Rb8 48.Rcc4 Rb3 49.Rgf4 and 1-0

Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Pavel Eljanov, Sanan Sjugirov and Maxim Matlakov all stand a half point behind second-placed Tabatabaei. 

Standings - Round 5

All games

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