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May 18, 2021

Unstoppable Praggnanandhaa in pole position

2 min read

R. Praggnanandhaa

Indian prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa is in pole position to win the Polgar Challenge as the online chess event enters its final day.

The 15-year-old from Chennai won three in a row before being held to a draw against fellow Indian D Gukesh. A final-round loss against Germany’s Vincent Keymar was the only blemish on his copybook.

With just four rounds left to play on Sunday, Team Kramnik star Praggnanandhaa is on 12/15 with top seed Nodirbek Abdusattorov is just a half-point behind.

Nihal Sarin, another Indian talent, and Awonder Liang are another half-point behind on 11/15 but i t is Praggnanandhaa and Abdusattorov who are the hot favourites.

The two leaders are due to face each other in a mouth-watering round 19 match that could decide the winner of the first Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour event.

At stake is a chance to play in an elite Meltwater Champions Chess Tour tournament and face World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

In the team battle, Team Polgar edged ahead with 75 points to Team Kramnik’s 71, despite Pragg and Abdusattorov both representing the second team.

Before the start of play, it was announced that due to connection problems IM Dinara Saduakassova, from Uzbekistan, had pulled out of the tournament

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