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Julius Baer Generation Cup: Magnus Carlsen applauds, flashes thumbs up for R Praggnanandhaa after their draw

Praggnanandhaa drew with Radoslaw Wojtaszek followed by a win against the German grandmaster Vincent Keymer.

New Delhi: After a cracking start to the Julius Baer Generation Cup, Indian youngster GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa earned applause from the world champion Magnus Carlsen on day 2. It was the day’s final game for them and Praggnanandhaa drew against Magnus to earn praise from the world number 1. India number 2, GM Arjun Erigaisi stands at the top after eight rounds.

pragg vs magnus
Picture courtesy: Chessbase India

It was a much-awaited clash between Magnus and Praggnanandhaa after the latter defeated the world champion twice in online tournaments this year. Pragg having the white pieces started with e4 and touching his pawn to h5, had a better position in the opening. He gave up the exchange to have active pieces and went for a sharp attack. But after Qxg7 he missed Nf5 with tempo, which Magnus a chance to fight back. Pragg’s fine play landed him in an endgame where he had four pawns for having two pieces against two rooks. At a point where he was completely winning, he blundered with Kg3 and Magnus used his rooks and king to full potential to hold the draw.

After the game, Magnus clapped for the Indian grandmaster and also showed a thumbs up. He looked really impressed by his play and that must have boosted some confidence for Pragg, who drew a winning position.

julius baers day 2
Picture courtesy: Chessbase India

Praggnanandhaa drew with Radoslaw Wojtaszek followed by a win against the German grandmaster Vincent Keymer. He went on to draw a long 67-move battle against Arjun and then drew against Magnus. After beating legends like Vasyl Ivanchuk, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Boris Gelfand on day 1, Pragg stands in the second position after eight rounds.

Meanwhile, following the controversy between Magnus and Hans Neimann in the Sinquefield Cup, Magnus resigned from the game against Neimann after the second move in the Julius Baer Generation Cup. Arjun Erigaisi, on the other hand, Hans Niemann and Levon Aronian, which is his second time this year. GM Adhiban Baskaran does not seem to be in good touch as he stands in the last position after eight rounds.

julius baer standings
Picture courtesy: Chess24