The world’s best junior player Alireza Firouzja was beaten by Indian teenage grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa on Tuesday to kick off his run in the FTX Crypto Cup, the US leg of the Champions Chess Tour. The 17-year-old started the four-game tournament with a victory.
He was part of the Indian team that won the bronze medal in the last Chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, near Chennai. To defeat Firouzja in Tuesday’s first-round encounter, he dropped the second game before winning the third and drawing the fourth. This outstanding performance once again established Praggnanandhaa as one of the best players in the world.
The Indian general manager now faces Dutch number 1 Anish Giri in the second round after picking up three points by beating top ranked Firouzja. Magnus Carlsen, the current world number one, beat Giri 3-1 in the meantime. Lev Aronian beat China’s Le Liem 2.5-1.5, while Jan-Krzyztof Duda beat Hans Nieman 3-0 in other first-round matches.
The eight-player all-play-all competition is the American Champions Chess Tour Championship. For every match won in the competition, $7,500 is up for grabs. Each match will consist of four quick matches, with blitz tie-breaks in the event of a 2-2 tie.
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