R Praggnanandhaa has become the India’s youngest and the world’s second youngest Grandmaster at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 13 days after reaching the final round of the Grenadine Open in Italy.
He is the young chess sensation from India and a true gem for the nation.
Let’s dig deeper into his life and style and know more about this young champion.
Details of R Praggnanandhaa
Date of Birth
10 August 2005
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
5 ft 5 in or 165 cm
No. 89 (August 2022)
won the World Youth Chess Championship Under-8 title in 2013, title of FIDE Master at the age of 7
$1 Million - $5 Million
Father: Ramesh Babu, Mother: Nagalakshmi
Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai
The story so far…
R Praggnanandhaa the Chennai-based player was paired with Grandmaster Pruijssers Roland in the final round, which ensured that he would achieve the feat. After beating GM Moroni Lica Jr in the eighth round, he needed to play an opponent above rating of 2482 in the next round to make his third GM norm.
Ukraine’s Sergey Karjakin remains the youngest ever GM, having achieved the feat at the age of 12 years and seven months in 2002.
In 2016, R Praggnanandhaa became the youngest International Master at the age of 10 years, 10 months and 19 days.
Accolades pour in for R Praggnanandhaa
Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand, the country’s first GM, congratulated Praggnanandhaa on his achievement.
Welcome to the club & congrats Praggnanandhaa!! See u soon in chennai?
— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) June 24, 2018
Meanwhile, Pragga’s coach R B Ramesh described it as a fantastic achievement.
“Fantastic achievement of course. Feeling proud that one of my students could achieve this. It was a collective effort from parents, who stood by him in tough times, sponsors Ramco group, ONGC and his school,” he told PTI.
“BIG Relief! Congratulations @rpragchess . Great inspiration personally working with you! He travels an hour each way to attend lessons. Great commitment from the parents. Thanks to sponsors Ramco and Mr. Venkaraman Raja too!,” he also tweeted.
Ramesh said R Praggnanandhaa had the chance to break Karjakin’s record last year and did come close to making the GM norms but missed out narrowly in the end.
“Last year, R Praggnanandhaa had come close to making the GM title but now that it has been achieved, we are all very happy. He can only get better from here,” said Ramesh, whose movement is hindered by polio.
He also said there would be greater expectations from the youngster now that he has become a GM.
“Pressure is something every sportsman should learn to live with, can’t complain about that,” he added.
Praggnanandhaa’s family on cloud nine
R Praggnanandhaa father A Ramesh Babu said he was overjoyed with Pragga’s achievement.
“I am overjoyed. He has put in a lot of hard work. Credit goes to my wife, who accompanies him to tournament and is very supportive. Due must be given to coach (Ramesh sir),” he added.
R Praggnanandhaa sister Vaishali is also a WIM and has won the world under-14 and 12 titles previously.
Meanwhile, V Kameswaran, India’s first international arbiter, said R Praggnanandhaa had developed consistently and a bright future lies ahead of him.
“Becoming India’s first youngest and world’s second youngest GM is not all of a sudden. Though he missed becoming the World’s youngest GM, his relentless chess pursuits for high honours are simply outstanding. The credit definitely goes to his parents, sister Vaishali and coach GM R B Ramesh,” he said.
R Praggnanandhaa Achievements
- Won the World Youth Chess Championship U-8 title in 2013.
- In 2016, Praggnanandhaa became the youngest international master in history, at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days.
- Fifth-youngest person ever to achieve the title of Grandmaster.
- In July 2019, Praggnanandhaa won the Xtracon Chess Open in Denmark, scoring 8½/10 points.
- On 12 October 2019, he won the World Youth Championships in the U-18 section with a score of 9/11.
- In April 2021, Praggnanandhaa won the Polgar Challenge, the first leg.
- On 20 February 2022, he became the third Indian player (after Anand and Harikrishna) to win a game against World Champion Magnus Carlsen in any time format.
- At the Chessable Masters online rapid chess tournament in May 2022, he defeated Carlsen once again, his 2nd win over him in 3 months, and advanced to the finals.
- He also defeated Carlsen 3 times in the FTX Crypto Cup, finishing second behind Carlsen in the final standings.