The best junior player in the world, Alireza Firouzja, was defeated by the teenage Indian grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa on Tuesday to kick off his run in the FTX Crypto Cup, the American leg of the Champions Chess Tour. The 17-year-old started the four-game tournament with a victory.
He was a member of the India squad that won the bronze medal in the most recent chess Olympiad in Mamallapuram, close to Chennai. To defeat Firouzja in the first-round encounter on Tuesday, he dropped the second game before winning the third and drawing the fourth. This superlative performance has once again established Praggnanandhaa as one of the best players in the world.
The Indian GM now meets Dutch No.1 Anish Giri in the second round after earning three points by defeating the high-ranked Firouzja. Magnus Carlsen, the current world number one, defeated Giri 3-1 in the meanwhile. Lev Aronian defeated China's Le Liem 2.5-1.5, while Jan-Krzyztof Duda defeated Hans Nieman 3-0 in other first-round matches.
The eight-player all-play-all competition is the Champions Chess Tour's American championship. For each match victory at the competition, USD 7,500 is on the line. Each match will consist of four quick games, with blitz tie-breaks being used in the event of a 2-2 tie.