Ding, Praggnanandhaa Reach Final: Chessable Masters, Day 6

The two-day final of the 2022 Meltwater Champions Chess Tour’s Chessable Masters will be played between GMs Ding Liren and Praggnanandhaa R. Both scored upset victories in the semfinals, with Ding ousting World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen and Pragg beating the thus far unbeaten GM Anish Giri.

How to watch?
The games of the 2022 Chessable Masters’ knockout phase can be found here as part of our live events platform. The rounds start each day at 9 a.m. Pacific/18:00 CEST.

Carlsen-Ding 1.5-2.5

In the clash between the two top players in the world in classical chess, it was Ding who managed to beat Carlsen in an online match for the first time. The Chinese GM, who defeated Carlsen in their last over-the-board minimatch (the tiebreak of the 2019 Sinquefield Cup), couldn’t do so in five earlier matches in the Tour. Perhaps he’s finally used to starting to play a chess match at what for him is midnight in Wengzhou, China.

How did it happen? Well, it was Carlsen who cracked this time, blundering material in the fourth game after the first three had ended in a draw. The Norwegian GM fell for a basic trick, lost a pawn for nothing and couldn’t hold it:

Ding said he was “very happy” and the result was “unbelieveable” as he finally could beat Carlsen online:  “I’ve played him so many times and I haven’t beaten him in any of the knockout stage in the Champions Chess Tour. It’s my first time.”

Ding Liren Chessable Masters 2022
Ding Liren. Image: Champions Chess Tour.

Carlsen: “I’m OK. I’m really disappointed with my play in the last game, but I think overall this match could have gone either way. I’ve played a lot of close matches with Ding and this one went his way which is disappointing but, yeah, that’s what it is.”

Praggnanandhaa-Giri 3.5-2.5

Even more surprising was Praggnanandhaa’s victory. Only 16 years old and in the middle of school exams, the Indian teen reached his first Tour final by beating a player who had shown great form in the event so far.

Pragg was leading 2-1 with a fine win with the white pieces when Giri managed to force a tiebreak, winning the fourth game on demand.

The decisive moment came in the first tiebreak game, as, like Carlsen, Giri blundered material after which Pragg had no trouble drawing the other game as White.

On Wednesday morning, Pragg first has to tackle his 11th grade exams before getting ready for his match with Ding.

“I have to be at school around 8:45 a.m.,” he said. “And now it’s 2 a.m.!”

All Games Day 6

Chessable Masters Knockout Results

Chessable Masters 2022 results

The 2022 Champions Chess Tour’s fourth event, the Chessable Masters, runs May 19-26, 2022 on chess24. The preliminaries are a 16-player round-robin from which the top eight qualify for the knockout stage. The time control is 15 minutes plus a 10-second increment; the scoring system is three points for a win, one for a draw, and zero for a loss. The prize fund is $150,000.

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