Meltwater Champions Tour Finals: R Praggnanandhaa Secures First Win

R Praggnanandha brushed aside Vietnam’s Liem Quang Le 3-0 in the third round.© Twitter

Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa posted his first win while compatriot Arjun Erigaisi suffered a third straight defeat in the Meltwater Champions Tour Finals on Thursday. Praggnanandha brushed aside Vietnam’s Liem Quang Le 3-0 in the third round even as Erigaisi went down 0.5-2.5 to American Wesley So. World No.1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway continued his winning run, crushing Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 3-0 while Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda also recorded his third straight victory, beating Dutch GM Anish Giri 2.5-0.5.

Praggnanandhaa (4 points) rose to the fourth spot behind Carlsen, Duda (both on 9 points) and Giri (4) in the eight-player field.

The 17-year old Indian won his first game against So in 41 moves and then took the second in 46 moves with black. The third saw Praggnanandhaa secure a 53-move win to seal a dominant victory.

He will play So in the fourth round on Friday.

Erigaisi started with a draw against So but lost the next two games and remained winless and without points after the third round. He faces Mamedyarov in the fourth round.

The eight players play a round-robin tournament. The winner will be the player who accumulates the most points and cash overall.

Eight players qualified for the Finals after a series of events in the Meltwater Champions Tour. The total prize fund for the Tour finals is USD 210,000. Each win in the round-robin earns the player USD 7,500.

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