- Norway's Magnus Carlsen on Thursday defeated India's Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa to win the FIDE World Cup of Chess — earning him the only major tournament win missing from his trophy cabinet.1
- The 32-year-old grandmaster, who has been the highest-rated chess player in the world for over 12 years, secured the victory after three days of play in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. After the first two classical games ended in a draw, the match went to a two-game tie-break played under faster time control.2
- In the tie-breaks, Carlsen won the first game and went into the second needing only a draw — a result he secured to win the title.1
- Despite the disappointment for the 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa, widely considered to be a future star, his second-place finish earned him a spot at the Candidates Tournament — the winner of which will have an opportunity to challenge the reigning World Champion, Chinese grandmaster Ding Liren.1
- Carlsen, a five-time World Champion, declined to defend his crown earlier this year. He's also ruled himself out of the next Candidates Tournament for a chance to re-earn the title, meaning that third and fourth place finishers in the FIDE World Cup — Fabiano Caruana and Nijat Abasov — will take the remaining spots.1
- Narrative A, as provided by CNN. In securing this tournament win, Carlsen not only sealed the only trophy missing from his already illustrious cabinet but also secured himself as one of the greatest chess players of all time.
- Narrative B, as provided by Chess News. While Carlsen was victorious on this occasion, Praggnanandhaa's excellent performance spells the rise of the younger generation of chess players who will now consistently rival Carlsen for the sport's top prizes.