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Praggnanandhaa ends first game in a draw against Magnus Carlsen in the Fide World Cup chess tournament, in Baku on Tuesday. Image Credit: ANI

Baku: The first game of the Fide World Cup final between Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa and Norway’s World No 1 Magnus Carlsen ended in a draw after 35 moves on Tuesday.

Both Grandmasters will continue their play where Magnus will have white pieces in the second classical game on Wednesday.

After defeating World No 3 Fabiano Caruana in tiebreaks, Praggnanandhaa reached the final to set up a clash with Carlsen.

Each match comprises two traditional games employing a time control of 90 minutes for the initial 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes added after the 40 moves, and a supplementary 30-second increment starting from Move 1.

If a tie happens, a playoff occurs on the third day of the round. The tiebreak procedure involves two rapid games with a time control of 25 minutes plus a 10-second increment per move. If further resolution is required, two ‘slow blitz’ games with a time control of 10 minutes plus 10 seconds increment per move follow.

Creating history

Earlier, former World Chess Champion and Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov congratulated Praggnanandhaa for creating history by entering the final.

Kasparov called his mother’s support “a special kind of support” and extended wishes to the Indian Grand Master for his exceptional performance.

“Congrats to @rpragchess — and to his mother. As someone whose proud mama accompanied me to every event, it’s a special kind of support! The Chennai Indian defeated two New York cowboys! He has been very tenacious in difficult positions,” Kasparov wrote in his tweet.

His coach RB Ramesh expressed his immense pride in Praggnanandhaa’s exceptional performance in the global tournament and said that he is optimistic about Prags chances in view of the openings strategies discussed. “I am extremely proud that he has been doing phenomenally well in this World Cup and he qualified for the World Cup final. And what I hear is he is the youngest to do so. And also he is the only Indian to qualify for the final,” coach Ramesh told ANI.

The All-India Chess Federation president Dr Sanjay Kapoor in a phone conversation told Praggnanandhaa that he was not only carrying his exceptional skills into the final but also the hopes dreams of an entire nation. “I had the privilege of speaking to Praggnanandhaa and conveyed to him the immense pride that the entire nation feels for his remarkable achievement. Our hearts are filled with hope and anticipation for his performance in the finals,” Kapoor informed on Tuesday.

If Praggnanandhaa wins the title, he will become the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to win the Fide World Cup. Anand won the title in 2000 and 2002.