On August 24, Thursday, at the FIDE World Cup final, R Praggnanandhaa, the Indian chess grandmaster suffered a tough loss in the tiebreaker of the FIDE World Cup final against the world number one chess player Magnus Carlsen. Shortly afterward, his sister, R Vaishali, a women's chess grandmaster, spoke to the media, thanking the Indian fans for their unwavering support for her younger brother on his journey during the premier chess tournament in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The 18-year-old had managed to draw the two classical time-control games in the last two days against the multi-time world champion in chess, but he couldn’t repeat his heroics in the tiebreaker round. After losing the first game, due to a blunder under time pressure, R Praggnanandhaa tried to push for the win in the second game, to level the final, but Magnus Carlsen built up a sturdy defence that he couldn’t breach.
R Vaishali, the sister of R Praggnanandhaa, talked to ANI, the Indian news agency, about what it felt to witness the fans wishing and praying for her brother on social media throughout the prestigious tournament. She was quoted as saying, “Yeah, very very grateful, I mean, whenever I check something online, like it’s just not wishes, they are really praying, the whole nation is actually praying for him.”
“I was getting goosebumps reading some of the messages really, like it’s just great. Thanks to all of them, I mean each and every one of them. Really grateful. I don’t know what else to say,” she added.
Watch the video of R Praggnanandhaa's sister talking about him here:
The 22-year-old went on to state that her brother R Praggnanandhaa will win big tournaments in the future to make the nation proud. R Vaishali said, “I am sure that this is just the beginning of Pragg’s career and he will bring back a lot of glory to our nation. And I mean, he is just starting now. He is selected for the Candidates next year. I am very sure that he will put in a lot of hard work and he will do his best. And yeah, he’ll make us proud for sure.”