Praggnanandhaa Beats Wesley So
Just two weeks ago, India’s chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa made his final GM norm and became the world’s second youngest GM ever at 12 years, 10 months and 14 days.
Shortly after this stunning achievement, Praggnanandhaa was in action again in the Leon Masters, a 4-player knockout rapid tournament which takes places annually in Leon, Spain.
This year’s line-up features the defending champion Wesley So, Spanish no. 1 Paco Vallejo, 12 year old GM Praggnanandhaa and talented local player Jaime Santos.
Four-game rapid matches were played and India’s rising star had the chance to show his skills against the World #2 rapid player, Wesley So. What might haveseemed like mismatch turned out to be a really tough match for Wesley So. Praggnanandhaa even won the first game against Wesley So after a long endgame struggle.
In the second game, the opening went completely wrong for Wesley So who blundered a pawn as early as move 7. The game became complicated later on however and Wesley used all his experience to outplay his younger opponent.
In game 3, Praggnanandhaa again had the better position, but was unable to convert his endgame advantage against Wesley So’s excellent defensive technique.
In the last round, So finally managed to show his full strength in rapid chess and outmaneuvered Praggnanandhaa in a rook endgame. If you just look at the results you could say Wesley So lived up to expectations, winning the match 2.5:1.5.
However, things could have easily gone a different way. It was a strong performance by Praggnanandhaa who proved to be a worthy opponent and made it clear that he has the potential to achieve even higher accolades in chess than the GM title.
Paco Vallejo won the other semifinal by a small margin to setup a final showdown with Wesley So.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Withdraws Candidacy to become FIDE President
A new president will be elected at the FIDE Congress during the upcoming Chess Olympiad from September 23 to October 6. The current FIDE president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, has been in office since 1995 – 23 years. One week ago, however, Ilyumzhinov withdrew his candidacy. That means the official candidates for the FIDE presidency are: GM Nigel Short from England, Georgios Makropoulos from Greece and Arkady Dvorkovich from Russia.
With these three new candidates, the outcome of the FIDE elections is completely open. There are still more than two and a half months before the election takes place and it will be very interesting to see what will happen.
Blog Article of The Week
“Lack of proper endgame technique allows many players to escape from lost positions, even without any spectacular play on their part” – Leonid Shamkovich
Our blog article of the week is about the 7 practical endgame strategies that occur over and over in chess endgames. Being familiar with endgame principles like “Do not hurry”, “Schematic Thinking” and “Piece and King Activity” is key to playing endgames successfully.
These 7 endgame concepts can be seen as guidelines you can use to navigate any endgame with confidenc. Click here to dive deep into the world of chess endgames.
This Week’s Exclusive FREE Video:
This week’s free video deals with a topic every player needs to work on if they want to progress in their chess career – calculation.
Of course, chess calculation isn’t easy. We aren’t robots, and it can be difficult to imagine where all the pieces are going to be in 2 or 3 moves. So how can we improve this important part of our game? How do we get better at visualizing the board as it will look in 5 moves, 10 moves or more?
Grandmaster Timur Gareyev – “the Blindfold King” – gives you a new approach to improving your calculation skills – blindfold chess. Watch the free video to learn Timur’s technique!
Last week’s puzzle:
Did you find the winning sequence from last week’s chess puzzle?
This week’s puzzle:
It is White to move. Can you spot the winning combination?
Answer next week.
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