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Indian Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa wins Norway chess open

Indian chess sensation R. Praggnanandhaa wins the Norway Chess Group A open chess tournament. Viswanathan Anand places third in the main draw

 Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa, winner of the Norway Chess Group A open chess tournament. Image via PTI (PTI)

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Young Indian Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa emerged winner in the Norway Chess Group A open chess tournament with 7.5 points from nine rounds. The 16-year old GM, the top-seed, was in fine form and remained unbeaten through the nine rounds. He finished the tournament with a win over fellow Indian V Praneeth, an International Master, late on Friday.

Praggnanandhaa finished a full point ahead of second-placed IM Marsel Efroimski (Israel) and IM Jung Min Seo (Sweden). Praneeth with six points was joint third but was placed sixth due to an inferior tie-break score.

Also read: Will the troubles at India's top chess body be finally over?

Apart from beating Praneeth, Praggnanandhaa posted wins over Victor Mikhalevski (in round 8), Vitaly Kunin (round 6), Mukhammadzokhid Suyarov (round 4), Semen Mutusov (round 2) and Mathias Unneland (round 1). He drew his other three games.

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The Indian teenaged star has been putting in impressive performances in recent times and had beaten world No. 1 Magnus Carlsen for a second time in the Chessable Master online event and lost a close final to China's Ding Liren.

The GM will be part of the India B team in the open event of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai next month. Praggnanandhaa's coach R. B. Ramesh congratulated him after the win and said it will help boost his confidence.

"Congratulations to him for the victory. He was the top seed, so it is not a surprise that he won the tournament. He played well in general, drew three games with black pieces and won the remaining games. It will help boost his confidence," Ramesh said. 

Also read: How chess champion Magnus Carlsen broke free to win

In the main tournament, Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand defeated Norway's Aryan Tari in the Classical section to come third. Anand, 52, had his work cut out for him against 23-year-old Tari. The Indian chess legend eventually required required 87 moves to defeat the Norweigan in in the sudden death tie-break.

World No. 1, Magnus Carlsen came first with 16.5 points, while and Azerbaijan GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov came second with 15.5. Anand finished third with 14.5 points.

Also read: Chess Olympiad: How Russia's loss has been India's gain

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