Champions Chess Tour Finals | Praggnanandhaa defeats Arjun Erigaisi, takes fifth place

Champions Chess Tour Finals | Praggnanandhaa defeats Arjun Erigaisi, takes fifth place

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The Meltwater Champions Tour Finals were held on Monday, and Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa finished fifth after defeating fellow countryman Arjun Erigaisi 2.5-0.5 in the seventh and final round. In 49 moves, Praggnanandhaa defeated the black pieces to win the first game rather easily.

Erigaisi came back strongly and won the third game in just 18 moves to tie the match after the second game resulted in a draw. To secure the victory, Praggnanandhaa won the fourth game in 56 moves. In the final results, Praggnanandhaa placed fifth with nine points, while Erigaisi placed sixth with nine points as well.

Before the last round, Carlsen had already secured the championship. He maintained his outstanding performance by crushing Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda 3-1. The Norwegian ended with 20 points, seven more than the American who came in second, Wesley So. So lost to GM Anish Giri of the Netherlands 3-4 in a nail-biting match but was able to maintain second place.

Prior to So winning the first tie-break game, the pair drew all four fast games. Giri recovered to win the next to force the Armageddon (sudden-death game), which he won in 57 moves to claim the victory. Quane Liem Le of Vietnam defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan 3-1 in the other game of the day to finish third with 11 points more than Duda (10).

Eight players competed for the USD 210,000 total prize pool in the Finals after qualifying through a series of Meltwater Champions Tour tournaments. In the round-robin competition, each victory was worth USD 7,500.

Final standings: 1. Magnus Carlsen 20 points, 2. Wesley So 13, 3. Quang Lie Le 11, 4. Jan-Krzysztof Duda 10, 5. R Praggnanandhaa 9, 6. Arjun Erigaisi 9, 7. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 6, 8. Anish Giri 6.

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