FTX Crypto Cup: Praggnanandhaa, Magnus Carlsen lose first match of tournament
Duda won the first two games as in game 1 Carlsen pushed a bit too much rather than taking a draw and in game 2 he attempted a failed attack.
New Delhi: Round 5 of the ongoing FTX Crypto Cup saw the most interesting games and inform Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and Magnus Carlsen suffered their first match loss. Le Quang Liem managed to defeat Praggnanandhaa with two consecutive victories, while Jan-Krzysztof Duda won against Carlsen in the blitz tie-breaks. Carlsen is the sole leader of the tournament, followed by Praggnanandhaa and Alireza Firouzja.
Duda seems to be the nemesis of the world number 1 as he ended his 125-game unbeaten streak and also eliminated him in the World Cup 2021 semifinals. Duda won the first two games as in game 1 Carlsen pushed a bit too much rather than taking a draw and in game 2 he attempted a failed attack. However, the world champion made a comeback and as Kasparov once said, “In the endgame the gods have placed Carlsen!” As the match went into the tie-breaks, Duda showed why he is so good in the shorter format. He won both the games to win the match.
The second game between Praggnanandhaa and Liem could have ended in a draw, but the Indian grandmaster decided to push for advantage. In the process, he misplayed and landed in a worse position just to let Liem win the game. In the third game, Praggnanandhaa got outplayed by the Vietnamese grandmaster and lost the match.
Alireza Firouzja won the second game against Hans Niemann and in the third game, Niemann blundered his queen to lose the match. In a completely winning position, Niemann took the rook on d7 missing that his queen was under attack by the d4 rook. Meanwhile, Anish Giri won against Levon Aronian with a score of 2.5-0.5.
GM Magnus Carlsen vs GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda- Game 2
Magnus decided to go all out after losing the first game. He played 8.g4 to launch an attack on the black king. In return, Duda played precisely and later on swung his rook, bishop and queen into the attack. Magnus was struck off-guard and had to resign on move 38.
GM Le Quang Liem vs GM R Praggnanandhaa- Game 3
The position was roughly equal before the players exchanged the queens. It was after the queen exchange that things went wrong for Pragg. White landed with a passer on the b-file and Praggnanandhaa was forced to sacrifice his knight for the pawn. Being a piece down, there was not much left in the game and the 17-year-old grandmaster had to resign on move 42.