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FTX Crypto Cup: Duda beats Praggnanandhaa as he blunders mate in 1 in tie-breaks

After the third game ended in a draw, Praggnanandhaa won the must-win game to force tie breaks.





New Delhi: Indian youngster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa went to Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the tie-breaks of FTX Crypto Cup round 6. Even after two consecutive losses, he sits in the second position while Magnus Carlsen is about to win the tournament with just one round to spare. Meanwhile, Alireza Firouzja also eyes the podium finish as he is just a point shy of Praggnanandhaa.

Praggnanandhaa lost the first game and was about to lose the second one too before Duda blundered and ended in a completely drawn position. After the third game ended in a draw, Praggnanandhaa won the must-win game to force tie breaks. The 17-year-old grandmaster was winning the first tie-break before he blundered mate in one. Duda won the second blitz game as well to win the match. Pragg will now face Magnus in the final round of the tournament.

Picture courtesy: Chessbase India

Magnus Carlsen lost the first game against Alireza Firouzja but manage to outplay him in the second game. After the score stood 1-1, they played a wild draw where both of them had their chances. As the fourth game also ended in a draw, they moved to the blitz tie breaks where Magnus managed to win the first one and draw the second. Meanwhile, Le Quang Liem continued his brilliant form to beat Anish Giri. After a loss against Levon Aronian, Hans Niemann is yet to open his score tally on the table. Niemann won the first game but Aronian made a comeback in the second and fourth games.

GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda vs GM R Praggnanandhaa- Game 2

Both the players coordinated their pieces well and the game entered the endgame after move 30. On move 37, they decided to exchange the rooks and the bishop vs knight endgame was slightly better for Duda as his bishop could cover more space with pawns on both sides of the board.

The drama began when Praggnanandhaa made a mistake with 49…Nb5 as white’s f and h-pawns looked unstoppable. With 51…Nxa2, Pragg just handed over the game to Duda but at a crucial stage, Duda made a blunder and played 53.Kg6. The right move here was Kb5 as it protected the king from Ne5+ and also does not allow the black pawn to queen with a check. But as both players queened, the position was again better for Duda.

Picture courtesy: Chessbase India

After that, the game was just about Praggnanandhaa trying to find a perpetual and Duda trying to push his f-pawn to victory. Duda was just a bit early in pushing the pawn to f7 as it allowed a perpetual and the game ended in a draw after 113 moves.

Pragg blunders mate in 1

Picture courtesy: Chessbase India

Praggnanandhaa was in a better position in the first tie break before he played 55.Nd3 to leave no space for his king to move. Duda did not miss it and delivered Re2#. Checkmates on board are rare sites these days but as the youngster missed one, Duda showed us one.