Airthings Masters: 16-year-old Praggnanandhaa beats World Champion Magnus Carlsen
Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa (16) on Monday defeated world champion, Magnus Carlsen, in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters rapid chess tournament. Praggnanandhaa won in 39 moves while playing with black pieces to end Carlsen's three-match winning streak. Notably, Praggnanandhaa had lost the last three matches. With this, he is now sitting at the joint 12th spot with eight points in the standings.
- Praggnanandhaa is the youngest player in the tournament and Monday's win marked his first victory against Carlsen in any form of chess.
- Praggnanandhaa was enduring a moderate run in the tournament so far, which included four defeats and two draws. He had registered his first win against Lev Aronian.
- Winning against Carlsen will likely boost Praggnanandhaa's morale going forward in the event.
Russian chess star Ian Nepomniachtchi is leading the Airthings Masters standings with 19 points under his belt. Ding Liren and Hansen are placed at the joint-second spot, having earned 15 points. Andrey Esipenko occupies the third spot with 14 points. Magnus Carlsen is sitting with 13 points. Vincent Keymer, Levon Aronian, and Anish Giri are others on the list.
Praggnanandhaa was also a part of the 2022 Tata Steel Chess Tournament. He finished the tournament at the 12th spot with a final score of 5.5 points after recording victories against Andrey Esipenko, Vidit Gujrathi, and Nils Grandelius. He won the first leg (Polgar Challenge) of the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour last April. The Julius Baer Challengers is played across four legs.
Praggnanandhaa is the fifth youngest GM after Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D, and Javokhir Sindarov. In 2013, he won the World Youth Chess Championships Under-8 at the age of seven. Two years later, he won the Under-10 title. In 2016, he became the youngest international master in the history of the sport, achieving the feat at the age of 10.