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Karthikeyan stuns Carlsen at Qatar Masters, Nakamura says 'this is the future'

Karthikeyan Murali became the second Indian to defeat Magnus Carlsen in classical chess format after Viswanathan Anand.

Karthikeyan stuns Carlsen at Qatar Masters, Nakamura says this is the future

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 19 Oct 2023 3:54 AM GMT

Indian Grandmaster Karthikeyan Murali stunned world number one Magnus Carlsen at the Qatar Masters 2023 and became the second Indian ever after veteran Viswanathan Anand to defeat him in the classical chess format on Thursday.

The Indian player scored the win over Magnus with black pieces in the seventh round of the ongoing Qatar Masters. With this win, Karthikeyan joined SL Narayan, Javokhir Sindarov, David Paravyan, Arjun Erigaisi, and Nodirbek Yakubboev in the leadership group with a score of 5.5/7.

As Carlsen's dominance faced resistance, an elated Hikaru Nakamura of Japan said: "This is the future for him. The Indians are coming for him. It's going to be one Indian after another, after another, after another, after another—all the disciples of Vishy (Anand)!"

Karthikeyan, meanwhile, said he was "very excited to play Magnus for the first time." Talking about his strategy, the Indian GM said, "My approach was just that I had to complicate matters."

The two-time national champion from Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu) played a flawless game and compensated for his draw against Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran in the sixth round.

In the tournament, Karthikeyan won four rounds and drew three rounds. He defeated Madhavan Hari, Q Bi Chen, NR Vishakh, and Magnus Carlsen and drew with R Vaishali, Yueheng Jin, and Parham Maghsoodloo.

Karthikeyan, who became India's 38th grandmaster in 2015 at the age of 16, became the second-ever Indian after Viswanathan Anand to defeat Magnus Carlsen in the classical format. Earlier in 2005, Pentala Harikrishna defeated Magnus in the 2005 Lausanne Young Masters.

R Praggnanandhaa has also defeated Magnus but in rapid or exhibition matches.

Earlier in the sixth round, India's 83rd grandmaster Aditya Sawant also troubled Magnus by playing a near-perfect game before committing a blunder in the last moments.

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