The Chess World Cup

By: David Yagudayev  |  September 20, 2023

By David Yagudayev, Arts & Cultures Editor

The FIDE Chess World Cup 2023 hosted in Baku, Azerbaijan was a thrilling and extremely competitive tournament. Not only are there monetary gains to placing high in the tournament, but there were also three Candidate-seats up for grabs. The winners of these seats would proceed to the 2024 Candidates Tournament, which is a qualifiers based tournament where the top players compete to play against the current World Champion Ding Liren for the World Championship. The eighth round knockout event featured many of the strongest players in the world which include veterans Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Ian Nepomniachtchi  as well as up and coming stars such as Pragganhada and Erigaisi. 

The Chess World Cup featured many upsets and incredible story-lines. Magnus Carlsen, a Norwegian grandmaster, never won the Chess World Cup, despite winning all of the other major tournaments. Similar to Lionel Messi, this may have been the Norwegian’s last shot to win the tournament. The youngster Nodirbek Abdusattorov representing Azerbaijan, made an incredible run all the way to the Semi-Finals beating Anish Giri, Peter Svidler, and Vidit Gujrathi creating some incredible unforeseen upsets. Similarly, the young Praggnanandhaa, representing India and the future of chess, made a run all the way to the finals beating Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and other formidable grandmasters in the process. 

The final of the Chess World Cup featured the seemingly unbeatable veteran versus the up and coming youngster. Was Praggnanandhaa able to win the trophy for India, and show that the younger generation is finally able to challenge and overcome players of Carlsen’s era, or is it too soon? Lasting four rounds, the final featured some of the finest play from both players, but Magnus ultimately beat Praggnanandhaa in Magnus-style fashion in the third round. Ultimately, Magnus finally won the coveted trophy he was missing from his trophy cabinet, and further solidified his “GOAT” (greatest of all time) status in the game of chess.