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Who is R Praggnanandhaa? India’s 16 year-old chess prodigy who stunned the world by defeating World Champion Magnus Carlsen

On Monday, the Indian Grandmaster denied Carlsen a fourth straight victory with his black pieces in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation.

Aakash Srivastava Author

Updated - 22 February 2022 5:43 pm

16-year-old India’s Chess prodigy Grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa stunned the world with his thumping victory against World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the eighth round of the ongoing Airthings Masters rapid online chess tournament. On Monday, the Indian Grandmaster denied Carlsen a fourth straight victory with his black pieces in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation. Praggananandhaa has earned eight valuable points in eight rounds and is currently in the joint 12th spot on the tournament table.

With the historic win against Carlsen, Praggandandhaa joined the elite list of Indian chess players consisting of legends like Vishwanathan Anand and P Harikrishna to beat the top-seeded players in the tournament. Notably, the young Grandmaster became the only third player to achieve the rare feat. Praggandandhaa, who surprised the World number one on Monday, had quite an average show on Saturday. Having started with a draw, he lost three back-to-back games to end the tournament’s first day. Meanwhile, Carlsen lost two rounds against Russians Andrey Esipenko and Ian Nepomniachtchi to be placed 11th against the Indian youngster. With seven games remaining in the preliminary stage, Pragganandhaa must be hoping to continue his winning momentum in the tournament. While the young prodigy made a lot of headlines on Monday, let’s know about him in detail-:

Name: Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa
Born: 10 August 2005 (age 16 years)
Place of birth: Chennai
Parents: Nagalakshmi, Rameshbabu
Siblings: Vaishali Rameshbabu
FIDE rating: 2612 (February 2022)
Peak rating: 2618 (October 2021)
Title: Grandmaster (2018)

Rare feats:

He was the second-youngest ever to attain the title of Grandmaster in the world when he reached the final round of the Grenadine Open in 2018, at the age of 12 years, ten months and 13 days.

In 2013, Praggnanandhaa won the Under-8 World Youth Chess Championships, making him a FIDE master at just the age of seven! Two years later, he won the Under-10 title.

He is also the youngest International Master in 2016 at ten years and ten months.

Praggnanandhaa started playing chess for the first time at just three. His sister, Vaishali, is also a chess player. He once revealed that even while he is on the phone, he plays chess which helps him sharpen his skills. Undoubtedly, his passion for playing the game has helped him achieve remarkable feats in the game.


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