Playing his first tournament after becoming a Grandmaster, R. Praggnanandhaa gave enough notice of his potential in the 1.5-2.5 loss to the defending champion from USA, Wesley So, who is the world’s second best rapid player, in the Leon Masters rapid chess tournament here on Friday night.
The 12-year-old stunned So with black pieces in the first of the four-game encounter.
In the second game, So, playing black, got the better of Praggu and the third one ended in a draw. With the players tied at 1.5 points, the fourth game turned out to be the decider.
So used his experience to win and enter the final of the four-player knockout tournament. The other semifinal pitted Spaniards Francisco Vallejo and Jaime Santos.
R.B. Ramesh, Praggnanandhaa’s coach said this was his ward’s first win over a player rated over 2800+ . On the victory in the first game, Ramesh explained: “Pragg had some difficulty in the opening. His position was passive and So was attacking him. Pragg played very well when the situation got complicated and won the game in mutual time trouble.”