The Young Chess prodigy Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu stunned the World No.1 and reigning five-time World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen from Norway in the 8th round of the online rapid chess tournament – Airthings Masters on 21 Feb 2022.
Known for his tenacious approach, Magnus resigned from the game after some relented moves and finally the 16-year-old, Praggnanandhaa won the match in 39 moves. Let’s dig deep into the magnificent chess career of GM Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu.
Third Indian to defeat Magnus Carlsen
The entire chess fraternity was awestruck by the master moves of Praggnanandhaa. His spectacular end game with the Knight and the Queen resulted in a win over Magnus. With this, he is the third Indian to defeat the Norwegian after former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand and GM Pentala Harikrishna.
PM Modi congratulates Praggnanandhaa
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Praggnanandhaa on his achievement. He took to twitter to say, “We are all rejoicing on the success of the young genius R Praggnanandhaa. Proud of his accomplishment of winning against the noted champion Magnus Carlsen. I wish the talented Praggnanandhaa the very best for his future endeavours. @rpragchess.”
The records are astonishing at just 16
At 12 years and 10 months, the shy, unassuming boy from Chennai became the second-youngest GM of all time and the youngest Indian to earn that title. But now he is at the fifth spot in terms of achieving the Yougest GM title. Magnus Carlsen became a GM when he was 13 years and 4 months old. Viswanathan Anand, India’s first Grandmaster, was 18 when he earned his third GM norm.
GM Abhimanyu Mishra – United States (12 years, 4 months, 25 days), GM Sergey Karjakin – Ukraine (12 years, 7 months, 0 days), GM Gukesh Dommaraju- India (12 years, 7 months, 17 days) and GM Javokhir Sindarov – Uzbekistan (12 years, 10 months, 5 days) are ahead of GM Praggnanandhaa.
The boy hailing from Chennai, Tamil Nadu has three world youth titles: U8 in 2013, U10 in 2015, and U18 in 2019. In 2019, the 13-year-old prodigy won the Xtracon Chess Open with an undefeated 8.5/10 points, overtaking a field featuring 13 GMs ranked over 2600. In April 2021, he won the Polgar Challenge and qualified for the next leg in the Champions Chess Tour.
Elder sister’s attachment to television lead Praggnanandhaa to chess
Praggnanandhaa started playing chess because of his elder sister’s attachment to television. To keep the duo away from Television, Praggnanandhaa’s parents enrolled them in chess coaching which worked well. Praggnanandhaa is a GM and Vaishali, his sister, attained the WGM norm. They are both products of Chess Gurukul, an academy run by Grandmaster RB Ramesh and his wife – a WGM herself.