After a dream run, R. Praggnanandhaa had an off-day against Vietnam’s Liem Le Quang, and lost 0.5-2.5 to slip the second spot behind Magnus Carlsen after the fifth round of the $210,000 FTX Crypto Cup rapid chess tournament in Miami on Friday.
After the first game ended in a draw, Praggananandhaa faltered in equal positions in the next two games for his first loss in the eight-player tournament and remained on 12 points.
Like Praggnanandhaa, Carlsen also suffered his first defeat but lost four times in six encounters against Poland’s Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Unlike the Indian, Carlsen gained a point since his loss came after the rapid games. In fact, Carlsen did well to force the blitz tiebreak games after losing the first two rapid encounters. Though the Norwegian bounced back to win twice in succession and make it 2-2, Duda was fortunate to escape to victory in the blitz games.
Alireza Firouzja (France) moved within a point of Praggnanandha by beating Hans Niemann (USA) 2.5-0.5 and Anish Giri (Netherlands) was fourth after scoring a similar victory over Levon Aronian (USA).
The line-up of the sixth and penultimate round is: Praggnanandha-Duda; Firouzja-Carlsen; Anish-Liem; Niemann-Aronian.