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Monday, August 21, 2023

R. Praggnanandhaa does Nation proud - enters finals of FIDE World Cup 2023

 Baku   is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and in the Caucasus region.  Baku is 28 metres (92 ft) below sea level, which makes it the lowest lying national capital in the world and also the largest city in the world below sea level.  – why are we reading about this city ?? 

In the game of intelligence played on the square board divided into 64 alternating dark and light squares with 16 pieces each – it is the  The World Chess Federation, FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs) that  awards several performance-based titles to chess players, highest being the Grandmaster title. Titles generally require a combination of Elo rating and norms.  Once awarded, FIDE titles are held for life, though a title may be revoked in exceptional circumstances.  

A chess title, usually in an abbreviated form, may be used as an honorific. For example, Viswanathan Anand is styled  "GM Viswanathan Anand". FIDE's first titles were awarded in 1950 and consisted of 27 Grandmasters (GMs), 94 International Masters, and 17 International Women Masters.   

There is a story that R Praggnanandhaa’s parents often invoke to peals of laughter from listeners. When he was taken to Slovenia for his first World Championship in 2012, he turned up at the venue tired and jet-lagged. When his mother returned to check on him, she found Praggnanandhaa asleep at the board, his opponent waiting patiently for him to wake up and make his move. A couple of years on, the kid who slept during a game became a prominent name  in world chess.   

The good news is - Indian grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa beat USA’s Fabiano Caruana in tiebreaks to reach the final of the FIDE World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan now. With the 3.5-2.5 semifinal win, Praggnanandhaa booked his place in the summit clash against world no. 1 Magnus Carlsen while officially sealing his spot in the Candidates 2024, to be played in Canada. 

The 18-year-old became the first Indian in 21 years to reach the Chess World Cup final. Earlier, Viswanathan Anand had won the first two World Cups in 2000 and 2002, albeit in another format. 

The Chess World Cup 2023 is a 206-player single-elimination chess tournament that is taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan from 30 July to 24 August 2023. It is the 10th edition of the Chess World Cup. Ordinarily the top three finishers in the tournament will qualify for the 2024 Candidates Tournament, but since Magnus Carlsen is unlikely to play in the Candidates Tournament the remaining semi-finalists will qualify.  The tournament is held in parallel with the Women's Chess World Cup 2023. 

Well done - Praggnanandhaa

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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