Meltwater Champions Tour: Praggnanandhaa, Erigaisi suffer consecutive losses

Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa went down to Dutch GM Anish Giri 2.5-3.5 in the second round while Erigaisi, who had posted his first-ever win over Carlsen last month, was outplayed by the Norwegian ace.

(FILE) Dutch FM Anish Giri defeated Praggnanndhaa in the second round.

(FILE) Dutch FM Anish Giri defeated Praggnanndhaa in the second round. | Photo Credit: RAJEEV BHATT

Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa went down to Dutch GM Anish Giri 2.5-3.5 in the second round while Erigaisi, who had posted his first-ever win over Carlsen last month, was outplayed by the Norwegian ace.

Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa went down to Dutch GM Anish Giri 2.5-3.5 in the second round of the Meltwater Champions Tour Finals here on Wednesday.

The other Indian in the fray -- Arjun Erigaisi was outclassed by world no.1 Magnus Carlsen 2.5-0.5.

Praggnanandhaa was in superb form, winning the first two games to take a commanding lead before letting his opponent off the hook. The Indian GM won the opening game in 33 moves and wore down the Dutchman in the next and looked set for an easy win.

However, the 28-year Giri hit back brilliantly to win games three and four to force a tie-break. He continued the winning streak to take the first of the blitz tie-break games and drew the next to dash Praggu’s hopes.

Meanwhile, Erigaisi, who had posted his first-ever win over Carlsen in the Aimchess Rapid tournament last month, was outplayed by the Norwegian ace.

Carlsen won the first game in 75 moves and then held on for a draw in 86 moves. He secured a 41-move victory in the third to seal a 2.5-0.5 win.

In other second round matches, Quang Liem Le of Vietnam, hammered American Wesley So 2.5-0.5 and Jaz-Krzyszstof Duda of Poland defeated Azerbaijan’s Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2.5-1.5.

Carlsen is on top of the standings with two victories and six points, followed by Duda (6 points).

Praggnanandhaa, who has lost both his matches, is in sixth spot (1 point) while Erigaisi is yet to open his account.

In the third round on Thursday, Praggu will meet Liem Le and Erigaisi will take on So.

The eight players will play a round-robin tournament. The winner will be the player who accrues the most points and cash overall.

Eight players qualified for the Finals after a series of events in the Meltwater Champions Tour. The total prize fund for the Tour finals is USD 210,000. Each win in the round-robin earns the player USD 7,500. 

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