The new generation, with its 16-17-18-year-old chess geniuses, is here and presses to break down the "old" guard. We're almost there, with the natural generational change happening. It's a cycle. It happened when Kasparov retired, for instance. New talents emerged, and a group of younger champions started dominating the international chess scene. Praggnanandhaa, Firouzja, Erigaisi Arjun, Deac, Gukesh, and many others are climbing the ladder quickly, showing their enormous potential.
It's always interesting - for us old chess lovers - to witness a generational change.
But - and yes, there is always a BUT - we still have someone on top whose play is out of this world. The Numero Uno doesn't seem to feel his age. Wait... he's only 31! But he's been on top of the chess world for 12 years, which is undoubtedly a long time. Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen, the Martian from Tønsberg, Norvegia, is still the man to defeat.
Even in Rapid games, his understanding of the position is superior to everyone else's. There is still a big gap between Magnus and the rest of the world. And he showed it again in the FTX Crypto Cup, winning the tournament for the second year in a row. Praggnanandhaa, the 17-year-old Indian sensation, was his formidable foe, but Carlsen managed to show who's the Master, at least for the time being.
Pragg and Carlsen were neck-to-neck through the whole tournament, with the Indian putting in a serious statement performance throughout.
But in Round 7 of the all-play-all event, Pragg had to face the REAL deal - the Numero Uno. the Indian teen had chances in the first game and then had to defend desperately in game 2. Finally, he ran out of steam in the third.
Here is the game:
You can download all the games in PGN format HERE
Carlsen clinched the win that guaranteed him the title in classic Magnus-style - with a piece of endgame brilliance and an enormous sense of relief. It's not easy to keep these kids at bay!
Congratulations to the World Champion and the young talent from Chennai!