Indian Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa held his own against World No.1 Magnus Carlsen to secure a draw after 30 moves in the second classical game of the final of the FIDE World Cup Chess in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Wednesday.
The title will be decided by a tie-breaker tomorrow.
Carlsen, playing white, was looking to get a draw from the outset – a point that was made by five-time world champion and Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand, too. “Wow, did not expect this opening! Is Magnus repeating his game 12 strategy of 2016 and aiming for a tiebreak?” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
In the first game on Monday, the 18-year old GM had held his own against a fancied and higher-rated opponent and forced a stalemate in 35 moves, playing white pieces. The Indian played a solid game and agreed to a draw on move 35.
Carlsen had revealed after the game that he had been suffering from food poisoning, and said that though he had a break, he was not in best physical shape.
Praggnanandhaa had earlier stormed into the final by shocking world No.3 Fabiano Caruana 3.5-2.5.
The Indian teenager became only the second player from the country to reach the final of the World Cup after Anand, and qualified for the Candidates tournament in 2024. He also became the third youngest player after the legendary Bobby Fischer and Carlsen to qualify for the Candidates tournament.