Baku: Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa’s dream run in the FIDE World Cup ended at the hands of world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, who beat him 1.5-0.5 in the tie-break here on Thursday after the classical games ended in a stalemate.
The second 25+10 tie-break game ended in a draw in 22 moves as the Norwegian legend played it safe after he had won the first, displaying his end-game skills.
It was Carlsen’s first World Cup triumph, having won the World Championship five times.
Carlsen overcame a stiff challenge from his 18-year-old Indian opponent in the first tie-break game, winning it in 45 moves. He overcame the problems he encountered due to Praggnanandhaa’s enterprising play to turn the tables and seize the advantage.
The two classical games on Tuesday and Wednesday had ended in draws forcing the final to a tie-break.
Praggnanandhaa enjoyed an incredible run in the tournament, having beaten world No.2 Hikaru Nakamura and world No.3 Fabiano Caruana to set up a final date against Carlsen.
The results in the ongoing tournament also helped Praggnanandhaa qualify for Candidates 2024 tournament, which will be held in Canada.
Praggnanandhaa, thus, became the third youngest player after the legendary Bobby Fischer and Carlsen to qualify for the Candidates tournament.