Indian teenager Praggnanandhaa defeated reigning World Champion Ding Liren in a fourth round clash at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee on Tuesday.
Thanks to the win, Praggnanandhaa also leapfrogged over five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand as the country’s top-ranked chess player in the FIDE’s live ratings with a rating of 2748.3, while Anand is at 2748. (FIDE discloses the published ratings at the start of each month).
Pragg became the second Indian after Anand to defeat a reigning world champion in classical chess.
Playing with black pieces, Pragg had the advantage on the board from the start. This was his first win in four rounds at the Tata Steel chess event this year after three draws. Coincidentally, Praggnanandhaa had also defeated Ding at the same event with black pieces in 2023, on January 17. Back then, Ding was the World No 2 and was preparing to compete at the Candidates tournament.
At Wijk aan Zee, Ding is playing in a rare tournament after taking the world championship crown last year by defeating Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi.
Meanwhile, Gukesh, who last year had become the first Indian to overhaul Anand as India No 1 in 36 years in the FIDE published ratings, lost his encounter with Anish Giri.
Gukesh had edged past Anish to secure a spot at the Candidates via the ratings route at the last second.
The third Indian player in the fray, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi was held to a draw by Jorden Van Foreest.
Thanks to his victory, Giri is now on top of the leaderboard heading into the first rest day at the Tata Steel Masters chess event. Pragg is third in the standings with Vidit seventh and Gukesh in 10th spot.
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First uploaded on: 17-01-2024 at 09:35 IST