Praggnanandhaa Wins Polgar Challenge Convincingly
Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Praggnanandhaa Wins Polgar Challenge Convincingly

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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43 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Praggnanandhaa R won the Polgar Challenge, the first leg of the new Challengers Chess Tour. The 15-year-old Indian grandmaster finished 1.5 points ahead of the pack and qualified for the next leg of the Champions Chess Tour.

How to watch?
The games of the Polgar Challenge can be found here as part of our new events page.

FM Niranjan Navalgund's recap of Praggnanandhaa's best games.


Praggnanadhaa was leading halfway through the tournament and the situation hardly changed on Saturday: he was still half a point ahead of the 16-year-old Uzbek GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov after 15 rounds.

That 15th round, however, was a dramatic one. The tournament leader suffered was what only his second loss against GM Vincent Keymer. The 16-year-old German grandmaster won an endgame that was quite similar to the classic ending GM Bobby Fischer vs. GM Mark Taimanov, fourth match game 1971.

Positional Masterpieces

GM Romain Edouard shows several positional masterpieces including the famous Fischer-Taimanov game!

Try lesson

Abdusattorov didn't profit though as he lost to GM Nihal Sarin, who thus helped his friend and compatriot to stay in the lead. It looks like the Uzbek grandmaster overpressed in the endgame:

Abdusattorov more or less lost his chances to win the tournament in round 17, when he blundered in what should have been a drawn position vs. 24-year-old Chinese GM Lei Tingjie:

Nodirbek Abdusattorov
Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Meanwhile, Praggnanandhaa showed high-level play with great consistency over the full 19 rounds. He scored an attractive win against the 16-year-old Danish GM Jonas Buhl Bjerre in round 13.

IM Dinara Saduakassova sadly had to withdraw from the tournament after the second day because of internet problems. All her results were set to losses, including the three draws she had played.

Final standings

# Fed Name Rat Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 Pts
1 GM Praggnanandhaa 2608 2766 ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 15½
2 GM Abdusattorov 2578 2688 ½ 1 0 1 1 ½ ½ 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 14
3 GM Gukesh 2478 2693 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 14
4 GM Nihal 2627 2685 0 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 14
5 IM Murzin 2620 2686 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 14
6 GM Keymer 2591 2664 1 0 0 ½ 0 1 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 13½
7 GM Liang 2592 2622 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 12½
8 IM Yoo 2455 2609 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 0 1 0 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 12
9 GM Mendonca 2549 2604 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 12
10 GM Bjerre 2550 2548 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 10½
11 GM Lei 2505 2531 0 1 ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 10
12 WGM Zhu 2459 2533 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10
13 IM Salimova 2397 2425 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ 1 1 0 0 1 ½ 1 7
14 IM Shuvalova 2472 2402 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 1
15 IM Abdumalik 2476 2402 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 0 1 0 1
16 IM Khademalsharieh 2494 2358 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 0 1 ½ ½ 1
17 IM Mammadzada 2443 2361 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 1 0 ½ 1 1
18 IM Yip 2430 2288 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 4
19 IM Badelka 2433 2227 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ 0 0 1 3
20 IM Saduakassova 2500 1714 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

With his win, Praggnanandhaa earned the wildcard ticket for the next event in the Champions Chess Tour which starts April 24.

One player shouldn't go unmentioned. Over 19 rounds, the 14-year-old Russian IM Volodar Murzin played only one draw and in rounds 9-19, he scored 10/11!

The 20 participants were not only playing individually. Half of the field formed a team with GM Vladimir Kramnik as their captain, while the other half played under GM Judit Polgar.

Halfway through the tournament, the score among these teams was exactly 50-50. In the end, Team Polgar won this first leg with 96.5 vs. 88.

All games days 3-4

The Polgar Challenge ran April 8-11, 2021. The time control was 10 minutes for each game with a five-second increment. The games were played on chess24. It was part of the Challengers Chess Tour that comprises four such tournaments followed by an eight-player final.


See also:

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