R Praggnanandhaa drew his last game at the Xtracon Chess Open on Sunday to be named winner after having claimed seven wins and two draws in the previous rounds. The 13-year old chess prodigy stated he was satisfied with his performance and talked about the training he has been receiving of late.
R Praggnanandhaa battled from a tough position against Grandmaster Sevian Samuel of the USA to play out a draw and be named the Xtracon Chess Open champion. The 13-year-old ended with seven wins and three draws, adding up to an impressive tally of 8.5 points. This was his first win since FIDE awarded him the title of Grandmaster last year, making him the third-youngest person at the time to achieve the distinction.
"It was a tough match for me but I was able to defend well. I knew a draw would be good enough for me to win the competition and wanted to hang in there till the end. I am happy with the way I played in this tournament and - in recent times - this has been my best performance," Praggu was reported saying by TOI.
Even though he was facing a defeat, Praggnanandhaa battled the odds to win the match after a hard-fought battle.
"It was a richly-deserved win for Praggu. Despite facing a tough position in the 10th round Praggu battled it out without losing his focus. I believe his victory over Karthikeyan Murali in the 9th round gave him an enormous amount of confidence which he carried to his game against Sevian," his coach said PB Ramesh of his apprentice
The win means he will be awarded 28.5 points and help him move up the world rankings. Praggnanandhaa racked up impressive victories throughout the event but he feels his most satisfying triumph came in the seventh round against Italian Daniele Vocaturo.
"Things went as per plan against Daniele. He is a higher-rated player and to be able to defeat him was a special feeling," Praggnanandhaa stated.
The emerging star last week attended a week-long training camp in Scotland along with his sister R Vaishali and fellow youth prodigy Karthikeyan.
"We got a chance to interact with Scottish GM Jacob Aagaard which was a great experience. In such camps, you get to know new perspectives about the game," he said.
He will also be under the tutelage of recently retired GM Vladimir Kramnik in Switzerland next month.
"I am sure it will be a great experience and I am eagerly looking forward to it,” he concluded.
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