R. Praggnanandhaa stunned higher-rated Chinese Wei Yi 2.5-1.5 to set up a semifinal clash with Anish Giri in the Chessable Masters online rapid chess tournament.
In Monday’s quarterfinals, Praggnanandhaa took a 2-0 lead after overcoming some serious defensive tactics. Needing a draw to advance, Praggnanandhaa got a good position in the third game. However, towards the latter part of the game, Wei Yi managed to turn an equal game into a winning one.
In the fourth rapid game, Wei Yi had his chances but Praggnanandhaa defended well. Eventually, after the young Indian weaved a checkmating net, Wei Yi had no choice but to force a draw following perpetual checks.
This result made Praggnanandhaa the first Indian to qualify for the semifinals of an event on the cash-rich Champions Chess Tour. Giri continued his unbeaten form by brushing aside Aryan Tari 2.5-0.5. He, too, won the first two games before an easy draw in the third.
From the bottom half of the draw, Magnus Carlsen and Ding Liren made it to the semifinals. Carlsen won the first and third games against Spain’s David Anton in his 2.5-0.5 victory. Facing Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ding, too, took a 2-0 lead but lost the
third. Like Praggnanandhaa, Ding got the draw he needed in the fourth game for a place in the semifinals.