In a sensational turn of events at the FIDE World Cup 2023, Indian Grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa has set the stage for an epic showdown against World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen after a remarkable victory over USA’s Fabiano Caruana in the gripping semi-final clash. The thrilling encounter in Baku, Azerbaijan, ended with Praggnanandhaa prevailing over Caruana in the tiebreaks, securing a 3.5-2.5 victory and an unforgettable berth in the Candidates 2024.
Praggnanandhaa’s triumph over the esteemed Caruana was achieved after a draw in the initial two-game classical series, both displaying impressive performances. However, the real excitement unfolded during the tiebreaker, where Praggnanandhaa showcased his prowess to emerge as the victor. Commending the 18-year-old Indian prodigy, chess legend Viswanathan Anand took to Twitter to express his admiration, exclaiming, “Pragg secures his spot in the final! He overcomes Fabiano Caruana in the tiebreak and is now set to take on Magnus Carlsen. An outstanding display!”
In the decisive second game of the FIDE World Cup semi-final, the young Grandmaster from India and the World No.3 Caruana found themselves evenly matched after an intense encounter, leading to a tiebreaker to determine the winner. The Sunday clash had ended in a tie after 47 moves, setting the stage for a nail-biting finish. Notably, Praggnanandhaa had achieved a milestone previously attained only by Indian chess icon Viswanathan Anand, becoming the second Indian chess player to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup.
The chess world is abuzz with anticipation for the impending clash between Praggnanandhaa and the formidable Magnus Carlsen. As Praggnanandhaa’s star continues to rise on the international chess stage, his journey to the final is a testament to his skill, determination, and the promising future he holds in the realm of chess.