Indian Grandmaster Karthikeyan Murali caused a major upset at the Qatar Masters 2023 by defeating the reigning world number one, Magnus Carlsen. This remarkable victory made Karthikeyan only the second Indian player, following in the footsteps of the legendary Viswanathan Anand, to conquer Carlsen in a classical chess match. This significant triumph occurred in the seventh round of the ongoing Qatar Masters, with Karthikeyan Murali skillfully employing the black pieces. Following this remarkable win, Karthikeyan joined the likes of SL Narayan, Javokhir Sindarov, David Paravyan, Arjun Erigaisi, and Nodirbek Yakubboev in the leading group, all boasting a score of 5.5/7.
Nakamura on Carlsen: "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!"#QatarMasters2023 pic.twitter.com/cKTFoHgKXl
— chess24.com (@chess24com) October 18, 2023
Karthikeyan Murali, meanwhile, said, “I was very excited to play Magnus for the first time.” When asked about his strategy, he said, “My approach was just that I had to complicate matters.”
Grandmaster Karthikeyan Murali has managed to do something extraordinary – something only one Indian player has managed to do so far. After Vishy Anand, Karthikeyan is the second Indian player to defeat the World no.1 Magnus Carlsen in classical chess!
Karthikeyan scored a… pic.twitter.com/OCAchPkOqC
— ChessBase India (@ChessbaseIndia) October 18, 2023
Karthikeyan Murali, who achieved the title of India’s 38th grandmaster at the youthful age of 16 in 2015, joined the exclusive ranks of Indians who have bested Magnus Carlsen in classical chess. This accomplishment, following Viswanathan Anand’s, marks him as the second Indian to achieve such a feat. A similar milestone was reached in 2005 when Pentala Harikrishna secured a victory against Magnus Carlsen during the Lausanne Young Masters. R Praggnanandhaa, too, can claim a win over Magnus, albeit in the realms of rapid and exhibition matches. Notably, in the sixth round, Aditya Sawant, India’s 83rd grandmaster, showcased remarkable skill, nearly outplaying Magnus Carlsen with a near-perfect game until an unfortunate blunder in the closing moments.