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Pragg defeats Carlsen, Wei Yi maintains the lead; Chessable Masters Day 2 recap

Tour rookie Wei Yi dominated again in the Chessable Masters as World Champion Magnus Carlsen suffered a second shock loss to 16-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa.
Read more: Youngsters steal the show at Chessable Masters

Wei Yi leads the field by 3 points after scoring two wins and two draws to stay unbeaten in the $150,000 online esports event. With 7 rounds to go in the Prelims, Wei now has a strong chance of making the Knockout stage on his debut in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. (scroll down to see the rankings)

Wei, playing through the night from Hangzhou City in China, said: “I tried hard to play accurately but there are always mistakes. Of course I was happy with my results, but there are still some super players I will meet like Magnus and Anish [Giri], so it’s not a good time to celebrate.”

Carlsen sits in joint-second on 15/24 with Spain’s David Anton but had to endure a painful repeat of his loss to India’s boy wonder Praggnanandhaa in February’s Airthings Masters.

The Round 5 game, Carlsen’s first for the day, looked to be heading for a dead draw. But a shocking one-move blunder lost it for Carlsen. With 40…Ng4, Carlsen put his knight on a loose square and 41.Rg7+ quickly followed as Pragg snaffled the free piece. Carlsen resigned on the spot. Replay the game here

Pragg’s win woke up the young star who had posted mixed results on the first day. Pragg followed up with a draw against fellow Indian Pentala Harikrishna and then beat the Englishman Gawain Jones to rise up to second on the leaderboard.

Pragg, who revealed he’s taking school exams during the event, said after: “I’m not so thrilled about my game quality. I’m missing some stuff, some tricks and some tactics so tomorrow I need to be sharper.”. Read more: Pragg’s 11th-grade exams are the best preparation for Chessable Masters?!

Following his loss to Pragg, Carlsen faced another youngster: the 13-year-old American Abhimanyu Mishra, the world’s youngest grandmaster. Before the start of play, Mishra tweeted that it was a “dream come true” to play Carlsen who “inspires many like me to enjoy this royal game”. Despite Carlsen bouncing back with a win, there was no suggestion Mishra was star-struck as he battled hard. The game ended with a curious position in which the teenager’s rook was boxed into a corner and unable to move. Replay the game here

Carlsen finished the day by playing the unorthodox opening move 1.c3 against former US champ Sam Shankland. Carlsen’s choice followed his equally odd 1.f3 move played during last month’s Oslo Esports Cup against the Pole Jan-Krzysztof Duda. But this time, Carlsen went on to win. Replay the game here

Also in the mix is the Dutchman Anish Giri who moved smoothly to 14/24 points. Giri is still unbeaten after 8 rounds and looks good for a place in the Knockout.

Play resumes at 18:00 CEST tomorrow with Rounds 9-12 before the Prelims end on Sunday and the competition heads into the Knockout stage.
Chessable Masters all information / Replay the games here / LIVE broadcast of the games

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