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Stavanger (Norway): Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa emerged winner in the Norway Chess Group A open chess tournament here with 7.5 points from nine rounds.

The 16-year old GM, the top-seed, was in fine form and remained unbeaten through the nine rounds. He finished the tournament with a win over fellow Indian V Praneeth, an International Master, late on Friday. Praggnanandhaa (Elo 2642) finished a full point ahead of second-placed IM Marsel Efroimski (Israel) and IM Jung Min Seo (Sweden). Praneeth with six points was joint third but was placed sixth due to an inferior tie-break score.

Apart from beating Praneeth, Praggnanandhaa posted wins over Victor Mikhalevski (in round 8), Vitaly Kunin (round 6), Mukhammadzokhid Suyarov (round 4), Semen Mutusov (round 2) and Mathias Unneland (round 1). He drew his other three games.

The Indian teenaged star has been putting in impressive performances in recent times and had beaten world number one Magnus Carlsen for a second time in the Chessable Master online event and lost a close final to China’s Ding Liren. The GM will be part of the India B team in the open event of the 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai next month. Praggnanandhaa’s coach R B Ramesh congratulated him after the win and said it will help boost his confidence.

“Congratulations to him for the victory. He was the top seed, so it is not a surprise that he won the tournament. He played well in general, drew three games with black pieces and won the remaining games. It will help boost his confidence,” Ramesh said.
Anand finishes third

Former world champion Viswanathan Anand scored a win over Aryan Tari in the ninth and final round to finish third in the Norway Chess tournament which was won by world number one Magnus Carlsen. The 52-year-old Indian chess legend won the Armageddon encounter against Tari after the classical match finished in a 22-move draw. Anand was made to work hard by Tari in the sudden death tie-break as he needed 87 moves to secure the victory early on Saturday.

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Author: Howard Caldwell