Paracin: Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa won the Paracin Open ‘A’ chess tournament 2022 here on Saturday, scoring 8 points from nine rounds. The 16-year-old remained unbeaten and finished half a point ahead of the field. Alexandr Predke took the second spot with 7.5 points ahead of Alisher Suleymenov and India’s AL Muthaiah, who both scored 7 points. Suleymenov grabbed the third place on the basis of a better tie-break score. Young Indian International Master V Pranav ended up with 6.5 points after a defeat at the hands of Predke in the final round. Indian GM Arjun Kalyan (6.5 points) settled for seventh place.
The Olympiad-bound Praggnanandhaa was in superb form, winning his first six games before Predke held on for a draw in round seven. He subsequently beat compatriot and fellow GM Arjun Kalyan in the eighth round before signing off with a draw against Alisher Suleymenov (Kazakhstan) in the ninth and final round. The teenage GM also recorded wins over fellow Indian WGM Srija Seshadri, Lachezar Yordanov (Bulgaria), Kazybek Nogerbek (Kazakhstan), compatriot Koustav Chatterjee, Arystanbek Urazayev (Kazakhstan).
Starting as the second-seed in the tournament behind Predke, Praggnanandhaa was in red-hot form and left the field behind to end half a point ahead of a strong field. The teenage prodigy will be part of a strong India ‘B’ team in the 44th Chess Olympiad to be held near Chennai from July 28.