Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa’s winning run came to an end at the hands of China’s Quang Liem Le in the fifth round of the FTX Crypto Cup, the American finale of the Champions Chess Tour.
Liem Le scored an emphatic 2.5-0.5 win over the teenage Indian GM, securing victories in games two and three after the opener ended in a draw.
A 43-move win in the third game sealed the deal for Liem Le as Praggnanandhaa’s stupendous run was halted.
World No.1 Magnus Carlsen, meanwhile, went down 2-4 in a tie-break to Jan-Krzystof Duda of Poland after the four-game match ended 2-2.
The Norwegian is in sole lead after the fifth round with 13 match points, one ahead of Praggnanandhaa.
The 17-year-old Indian prodigy has been in superb form in the tournament, scoring wins over world No.4 Alireza Firouzja, Anish Giri, Levon Aronian, and Hans Niemann before the Chinese GM halted the streak.
Praggnanandhaa’s coach Ramesh said after the player’s first defeat, “Tough loss for @rpragchess against Liem losing with a score of 0.5 – 2.5. Over extended in second game and paid the price. Well done Liem!” In other matches in the round, Firouzja beat the winless Niemann 2.5-0.5 to close in on Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa with 11 match points.
— Ramesh RB (@Rameshchess) August 19, 2022
Dutchman Giri beat Levon Aronian 2.5-0.5 to move into 5th place with 7 points.
The eight-player all-play-all tournament is the American finale of Champions Chess Tour. There is USD $7,500 at stake for each match win at the event.
Each match will be played over four rapid games, with blitz tiebreaks in case of a 2-2 draw.