Foreign kids line up to take autograph of Indian chess Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa

Praggnanandhaa became India’s youngest chess grandmaster at 18 and reached the FIDE World Cup 2023. Dedicated to the sport, hard-working, and passionate about it, he started participating in tournaments. After witnessing his exceptional performance at the Azerbaijan event, numerous international youngsters have become fans of this talented young Indian chess champion.

Praggnanandhaa reached the final and was defeated by Magnus Carlsen. The extremely humble, young sensation Pragananda did not realize the enormity of his achievement at the FIDE World Cup, but he acknowledged that his incredible performance could compel people to ‘start paying attention to Indian chess.’

A few hours after being the runner-up, Pragganandhaa said in Baku from PTI, “I feel very good reaching the finals; today I couldn’t win, but it’s normal in chess.” When asked if he understood the intimidating nature of his performance, he smiled and said, “No, not yet, but I think it will happen sometime.” Pragganandhaa made a splendid effort in the final and held the world number 1 and five-time world champion Carlsen to a draw in two classical games before losing in the tie-break. As soon as he shook hands with the Norwegian GM, a group of children surrounded Pragganandhaa and asked for his autograph.

His talent and dedication to the game inspired new players and revitalized the global chess community. Praggnanandhaa’s name will be etched in the future of chess, reminding us of the power of determination and the universal language of chess.

When asked if he was enjoying the headlines, Praggananand responded humbly, “I think it’s good for the game, and I’m very happy to see so many people following it. And yes, it will be nice to see many youngsters coming into the game, and I feel it’s going in the right direction, and I’m very happy with it.”

It was included in their fantastic performance in the World Cup, defeating the world number 2 Hikaru Nakamura, and the world number 3 Fabiano Caruana. The list of their achievements doesn’t end here, as they have become the third-youngest players to qualify for the Candidates Tournament after Bobby Fischer and Carlsen. This achievement becomes even more notable, considering that this adolescent has been consistently performing well for the past two months and participating in tournaments one after another.

Sweta Dagar is an avid reader and writer. She hails from Bulandshahr (U.P) where she completed her formap education. She loves exploring varieties of topics that shape the public opinion at large. If you have any queries, feel free to contact her at [email protected].