India’s Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu, on Wednesday, took the world by surprise as he beat world No 1 Magnus Carlsen in the Round 3 of the Norway Chess tournament in Stavanger.

This was the first time Praggnanandhaa had beaten Carlesn in the classical chess format.

The win propelled the 18-year-old Indian to sole lead in the six-player tournament with 5.5 points out of nine. He leads world No 2 GM Fabiano Caruana, who has five points after the first three rounds.

Praggnanandhaa had earlier drawn started his campaign with a draw in against Alireza Firouzja before beating him in an Armageddon – a tie-break where the player using white pieces gets an extra minute and has to find a win, a draw would mean the black pieces win.


He then held the reigning world champion Ding Liren to a draw before losing to him in the Armageddon.

Up against Carlsen at his home turf, Praggnanandhaa was out of preparations as early as the fifth move. The Norwegian, playing with the black pieces, opted for a rather risky opening – not castling at all in the contest – and Praggnanandhaa took his chances.

Despite trailing on the clock of the match, Praggnanandhaa remained clam. He had a better position from around move 14 and never let it slip. The teenager kept attacking relentessly and Carlsen’s opening choice finally came back to haunt him.


Such was Praggnanandhaa’s dominance over the board that the Norwegian was forced to resign in the 37th move despite being a pawn up for the past 13 moves.

Meanwhile in the women’s section, Vaishali Rameshbabu retained her sole lead after holding Ukraine’s Anna Muzychuk to a draw in the third round.

Vaishali has 5.5 points out of nine, while China’s Ju Wenjun – the reigning women’s world champion – holds the second place with 4.5 points.