Tata Blitz – a video feast

by Frederic Friedel
11/26/2018 – Did you catch the world-class blitz at the Tata Steel tournament in India? For the vast majority the venue, like with so many other events, was just too far away. Thankfully Sagar Shah, who set up ChessBase India, was there and filmed the most interesting games from the best possible angle. You can watch the action at close range, see the players think and react to the opponent's moves, and even analyse on the replay board with engine support. It's highly enjoyable — just ask 1.3 million viewers on YouTube you have watched Praggnanandhaa vs Anand!

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Pragg on the big stage

In 2016, the Chennai born R. Praggnanandhaa became the youngest International Master in history. He was 10 years, 10 months and 19 days when he made his final norm. In June this year, at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 14 days, he became the second pre-teen chess grandmaster in history

Praggnanandhaa Elo

Photo: ChessBase India shows the 10-year-old giving a simultaneous exhibition.

This week Praggnanandhaa, who just turned thirteen three months ago, took part in the blitz tournament of the Tata Steel India 2018 tournament. It was a category 19 event, with ten participants and an average rating of 2719. Pragg was the lowest rated player in the field, which included eight GMs rated over 2700, and he finished the event in last place. He scored 5.5 points in 18 games, which translated to a 2600 performance. You can see a full cross table here.

Now for the treat of the day: watching this young lad play blitz chess. Our partner from ChessBase India, IM Sagar Shah, has thankfully recorded a number of games, with the video camera at just the right angle, so you can sit back and enjoy the action. Switch to full screen and you have a wonderful view, better than any visitor in the playing hall.

The first game from round six Praggnanandhaa faces Viswanathan Anand, who won the Blitz with an overall score of 14.0/18 points. It is worth noting that Anand became a grandmaster seventeen years before his opponent was born — and won his first (of five) World Championship titles five year before Pragg first saw the light of day. Both are from Chennai in South India, both speak the Dravidian language of Tamil and get on very well together.

Over 1.3 million people have already watched this video on YouTube

Here is the game to replay and analyse (click the fan icon to start an engine) on our Javascript board. It has been annotated by the chess engine that looks after our Live Chess page. There you can find all important events covered, with the most important games containing computer analysis.

[Event "Tata Steel India 2018-Blitz"] [Site "Kolkata"] [Date "2018.11.13"] [Round "6"] [White "Praggnanandhaa R"] [Black "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2530"] [BlackElo "2773"] [Annotator "TA"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2018.11.09"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "IND"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. a3 g6 {B90: Sicilian Najdorf: Unusual White 6th moves, 6 Be3 Ng4 and 6 Be3 e5} (6... e5 7. Nf3 Be7 8. Bc4 O-O 9. Bg5 Be6 10. Bxf6 Bxc4 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. Nd2 Be6 13. Nf1 Nd7 14. Ne3 Nf6 15. O-O Rac8 16. Qd3 Rc6 17. Rfd1 Rfc8 18. f3 g6 19. Kh1 Kg7 20. Qd2 { 1/2-1/2 (20) Anand,V (2782)-Nepomniachtchi,I (2729) Riadh 2017}) 7. Be2 Bg7 { LiveBook: 6 Games} 8. Be3 O-O {The position is equal.} 9. Qd2 b5 10. O-O-O Bb7 11. f3 Nbd7 12. h4 Ne5 $146 ({Black should play} 12... Rc8 $14) ({Predecessor: } 12... h5 13. g4 Rc8 14. Bh6 Bxh6 15. Qxh6 Rxc3 16. bxc3 {1-0 (24) Vaishali,R (2313) -Sadhwani,R (2438) Douglas 2018}) 13. Bh6 Bxh6 14. Qxh6 Rc8 {[#]} (14... e6 $16) 15. g4 $2 (15. h5 $1 $18 Qd7 (15... Nxh5 16. Rxh5) 16. g4) 15... Rxc3 $1 $14 16. bxc3 Qa5 17. Nf5 (17. Kb2 $1 $14 {keeps the upper hand.}) 17... gxf5 18. gxf5 {Black must now prevent Rdg1+.} Qxc3 (18... Neg4 $17 19. Rhg1 Rc8) 19. Rdg1+ $2 (19. Rhg1+ $15 Nfg4 20. Kb1) 19... Ng6 $2 (19... Nfg4 $19 20. Kb1 Rc8) 20. fxg6 fxg6 $40 {Black has some attack.} 21. h5 $2 {[#]} (21. Bd3 $11) 21... Bxe4 $1 $19 22. fxe4 {Strongly threatening Kb1.} Qa1+ 23. Kd2 Nxe4+ ({Worse is } 23... Qd4+ 24. Ke1 $11) 24. Ke3 Qc3+ 25. Bd3 Qd2+ 26. Kxe4 Qxh6 27. hxg6 Qf4+ 28. Kd5 h6 29. g7 Rc8 (29... Qf3+ $142 30. Ke6 Qe3+ 31. Kd7 Qa7+ 32. Kc6 Rc8+ 33. Kd5 Qe3 34. Bh7+ Kxh7 35. g8=Q+ Rxg8 36. Rxg8 Kxg8 37. Rb1 Qxa3 38. Kc6 Qc5+ 39. Kd7 Qxc2 40. Rg1+ Kf7 41. Rf1+ Kg6 42. Rg1+ Kf6 43. Rh1 b4 44. Rxh6+ Kg5 45. Rh1 b3 46. Rg1+ Kf6 47. Kd8 Qf5 48. Rg3 Qa5+ 49. Kc8 Qc5+ 50. Kd8 Qb6+ 51. Kd7 Qb7+ 52. Kd8 b2 53. Rg1 Qb6+ 54. Kc8 Qxg1 55. Kd8 b1=Q 56. Kc8 Qa7 57. Kd8 Qbb8#) 30. Ke6 {[#]} d5 $1 {( -> ...Rc6+)} 31. Rg6 (31. Kxd5 Rc5+) 31... Rc6+ 32. Kxe7 Rxg6 (32... Qf7+ $142 33. Kd8 Rc7 34. Rhxh6 Qe7#) 33. Bxg6 { Black is clearly winning.} Kxg7 {Endgame KQ-KRB} (33... Qg5+ $142 34. Kd7 Qxg6) 34. Bd3 Qe5+ 35. Kd7 h5 36. Rg1+ Kf6 37. Rg6+ Kf7 38. Rh6 a5 39. Kc6 b4 40. axb4 axb4 41. Kd7 Kg7 42. Re6 Qd4 43. Ke8 Qg4 44. Ke7 h4 45. Be2 Qg5+ 46. Kd6 h3 47. Re7+ Kf8 48. Re5 Qf6+ (48... Qf4 $142 49. Kxd5 h2) 49. Kxd5 h2 { Precision: White = 20%, Black = 59%.} 0-1

After this loss to his hero Anand young Praggu faced him again in round 15. This rematch starts with a lot of positional maneuvering — it is fascinating to watch the 13-year-old think. He gets into serious time trouble, but handles that phase very well. The last third of the video is positively gripping. 

At the end of the video both GMs discuss the game, but Sagar's camera did not catch their whispered speech. If you, dear reader, can lip-read, in Tamil, please tell us what they are saying.

[Event "Tata Steel India 2018-Blitz"] [Site "Kolkata"] [Date "2018.11.14"] [Round "15"] [White "Anand, Viswanathan"] [Black "Praggnanandhaa R"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C78"] [WhiteElo "2773"] [BlackElo "2530"] [Annotator "TA"] [PlyCount "127"] [EventDate "2018.11.09"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "IND"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bb7 7. d3 Be7 8. a4 O-O 9. Re1 d6 10. Nbd2 Na5 11. Ba2 c5 12. Nf1 b4 {C88: Closed Ruy Lopez: Anti-Marshall Systems} 13. Bd2 (13. c3 bxc3 14. bxc3 c4 15. Ng3 cxd3 16. Qxd3 Bc8 17. Ba3 Nb7 18. Rab1 Qa5 19. Nf5 Bxf5 20. Rxb7 Qxa4 21. exf5 {1/2-1/2 (36) Grandelius,N (2651)-Urkedal,F (2548) Bergen 2018}) 13... Bc8 {LiveBook: 4 Games } 14. Ne3 Be6 {The position is equal.} 15. Bxe6 fxe6 16. c3 bxc3 17. bxc3 Rb8 18. Qc2 Qd7 19. Rab1 h6 $146 20. Qa2 Kh8 21. h3 Nh5 22. Nc4 Nc6 23. Nb6 (23. a5 $16) 23... Qc7 24. a5 $36 {White has strong initiative.} Rf6 25. Rb2 Rbf8 26. Be3 Bd8 27. Nh2 Rg6 28. Kh1 Qf7 (28... Na7 $14) 29. Qa4 $16 Na7 $2 {[#]} (29... Qc7 $16) 30. Nd7 $1 $18 Rg8 31. Rb7 Nb5 32. c4 (32. Nxc5 $142 Qe8 33. Nxa6 Nxc3 34. Qb4) 32... Nd4 33. Nxe5 $2 ({White should play} 33. Reb1 $18 {Black must now prevent Nxe5!} Qe8 34. Qd1) 33... Qxb7 $11 34. Nxg6+ Kh7 35. Nf4 Nxf4 36. Bxf4 e5 37. Be3 Qb2 38. Qa1 (38. Rf1 $14) 38... Qxa1 39. Rxa1 Nc6 40. Bd2 Bc7 41. Rb1 Rb8 42. Rxb8 Nxb8 {Endgame KBN-KBN} 43. Kg1 Nc6 44. Kf1 Bxa5 45. Bxa5 Nxa5 {KN-KN} 46. Ke2 Nc6 47. Nf3 Kg6 48. Nh4+ Kf6 49. Nf5 Nd4+ 50. Nxd4 cxd4 { KP-KP} 51. Kd2 Ke6 52. Kc2 Kd7 53. Kb3 Kc6 54. Kb4 Kb6 55. h4 {Hoping for h5.} Kc6 $2 {[#]} (55... g6 $11) 56. Ka5 (56. h5 $142 Kb6 57. g3 a5+ 58. Ka4 Kc6 59. Kxa5 Kb7 60. Kb5 Kc7 61. f4 exf4 62. gxf4) 56... Kb7 (56... g5 $18 57. hxg5 ( 57. Kxa6 gxh4 58. Ka5 Kc5 $11) 57... hxg5) 57. h5 {White mates.} Ka7 58. g3 Kb7 59. f4 Ka7 60. f5 Kb7 61. g4 Kc7 62. Kxa6 Kd7 63. Kb6 Ke7 64. Kc7 {Precision: White = 57%, Black = 48%.} 1-0

In these two games Praggu did put up a good fight, but the immense exprience of the multiple-time World Champion carried the day. We do not want to leave it at two losses for the lad, so we show you one more game. It is remarkable for the fact that the two youngest grandmasters in the history of the game are facing each other: Sergey Karjakin gained his title sixteen years ago, at the age of 12 years, seven months and zero days. (We need to mention that there is a new player between the two: last month Javokhir Sindarov apparently beat Praggnanandhaa by three days).

Anyway, here's the remarkable round five game, in which Pragg had the black pieces against former World Championship Challenger Sergey Karjakin. Once again we remind you: Sergey became a grandmaster fifteen years before the prodigy from Chennai was born. He is now 28 and 223 points higher than Pragg on the Elo scale. Once again the last phase of the game takes away your breath. This is a video you must not miss. 

Did you enjoy it, are you inspired? You can replay all the moves and check things out on our replay board:

[Event "Tata Steel India 2018-Blitz"] [Site "Kolkata"] [Date "2018.11.13"] [Round "5"] [White "Karjakin, Sergey"] [Black "Praggnanandhaa R"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B10"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2530"] [Annotator "TA"] [PlyCount "142"] [EventDate "2018.11.09"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventCountry "IND"] [SourceTitle "playchess.com"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceQuality "1"] 1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. d4 Nc6 5. Bb5 a6 (5... Qa5+ 6. Nc3 Bg4 7. Bd2 Qd8 8. Ne5 Bd7 9. Bxc6 Bxc6 10. Qf3 Nf6 11. g4 h6 12. h4 e6 13. O-O-O { 1/2-1/2 (51) Shankland,S (2722) -Tomczak,J (2614) Batumi 2018}) 6. Bxc6+ { B13: Caro-Kann: Exchange Variation and Panov-Botvinnik Attack} bxc6 7. Ne5 Bd7 (7... e6 $11 {keeps the balance.}) 8. c4 $146 {White is better.} ({Predecessor: } 8. O-O e6 9. Be3 Bd6 10. Nd2 Ne7 11. b3 O-O 12. c4 f6 13. Nxd7 Qxd7 {0-1 (42) Borras Carbonell,A (1851)-Font Font,J (1801) Palafrugell 2012}) 8... Nf6 9. Nc3 dxc4 10. O-O e6 11. Qf3 {White has strong compensation.} Rc8 12. Bg5 Be7 13. Rad1 O-O 14. Na4 Nd5 (14... Be8 $14) 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Nc5 Be8 17. Nxc4 f6 18. Qa3 Bf7 19. Rfe1 Ra8 20. h3 Rfe8 21. Qa4 Qc7 22. Qa5 Qb8 23. Rc1 Qb5 24. Qd2 { aiming for Nd6.} Rad8 25. Ne4 (25. Na5 $16) 25... Qb4 $11 26. Nc5 a5 (26... e5 $11) 27. a3 Qxd2 28. Nxd2 Nf4 29. Re4 (29. g3 $1 $14 Ng6 30. Nf3) 29... Rxd4 ( 29... e5 $15 30. dxe5 fxe5) 30. Rxd4 Ne2+ 31. Kf1 Nxd4 32. Ndb3 e5 33. Nxa5 Bd5 34. b4 f5 35. Nc4 e4 36. a4 (36. Nb6 $16) 36... f4 (36... Rb8 $11) 37. Rc3 ({ White should play} 37. Nb6 $16) 37... Rb8 38. a5 $2 (38. Na6 $1 $11 {and White stays safe.} Ra8 39. Nc5) 38... Rxb4 $19 {[#] ( -> ...Rb1+)} 39. Nd2 Rb2 40. Ke1 e3 41. fxe3 fxe3 42. Rxe3 Nc2+ 43. Kf2 Nxe3 44. Kxe3 {Endgame KRB-KNN} Rb5 45. Nd3 Rxa5 46. g4 Ra2 47. h4 Ra4 48. Nf4 h6 49. g5 hxg5 50. hxg5 Kf7 51. Nf1 Re4+ 52. Kf3 Re1+ 53. Kf2 Re5 54. g6+ Kf6 55. Ne3 Kg5 56. Nd3 Re8 57. Nb4 Be4 58. Na6 Kxg6 59. Nc5 Bd5 60. Nd3 Kg5 61. Nb4 Be4 62. Na6 Rf8+ 63. Ke2 Kh4 64. Nc5 Bf3+ 65. Kf2 Bd5+ 66. Kg1 g5 {Black mates.} 67. Nd7 Rf3 68. Nc2 g4 69. Ne5 Rc3 70. Nd4 Kg5 71. Kf2 g3+ {Precision: White = 39%, Black = 59%.} 0-1

Incidentally, in the Tata Steel Blitz Praggnanandhaa beat GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly, rated 2615, twice, drew Nakamura twice and held Wesley So, Pentala Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi to one draw each. Quite remarkable.

Special thanks to ChessBase India for providing this video. There are hundreds of videos on their very successful ChessBase India YouTube Channel, and we are going to make vigorous use of them in the future.

ChessBase India is also very active on social media: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram




Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.
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KevinConnor KevinConnor 11/27/2018 08:41
Strange title for an article that is solely about Praggnanandhaa! What happened to Sarin? Is he not interesting enough anymore to Indian readers?
sshivaji sshivaji 11/27/2018 07:46
Not, h7h5 move, Pragg and Anand have agreed that g7g5 draws.
wb_munchausen wb_munchausen 11/27/2018 04:02
Is that Pal Benko in the front row? It sure looks like him
VVI VVI 11/27/2018 02:42
Although the Tamil conversation between Pragg and Anand is not very audible; I picked up a few sentences.
Pragg tells Anand he should have made the h7-h5 move. Anand says if Pragg had played that way, it would have been a certain draw. Anand further mentions he was struggling to make a breakthrough but was not sure how to proceed with the the structure. That`s from me.
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