Praggnanandhaa: The Indian Chess Wonderkid Taking the World by Storm!

Praggnanandhaa: The Indian Chess Wonderkid Taking the World by Storm!
Image Credit: Tata Steel Tournament

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, known as Praggnanandhaa(Lovingly called Pragg), is an Indian chess grandmaster who has captivated the chess world with his exceptional talent and remarkable achievements at a remarkably young age. Born on August 10, 2005, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Praggnanandhaa has established himself as one of the most promising young chess players globally, setting records and making headlines throughout his chess career.

Chess Career and Achievements

Praggnanandhaa's chess journey began at an early age when he displayed an extraordinary aptitude for the game. At just seven years old, he won the World Youth Chess Championship Under-8 title in 2013, earning him the prestigious FIDE Master title. He continued his winning streak by securing the Under-10 title in 2015.

In 2016, Praggnanandhaa etched his name in chess history by becoming the youngest international master ever at the tender age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days. This incredible feat demonstrated his immense potential and immediately thrust him into the global chess spotlight.

The young chess prodigy's ascent continued unabated. In November 2017, he achieved his first grandmaster norm at the World Junior Chess Championship, finishing fourth with an impressive score of 8 points. Praggnanandhaa went on to earn his second norm at the Heraklion Fischer Memorial GM norm tournament in Greece in April 2018. Just a few months later, in June 2018, he clinched his third and final norm at the Gredine Open in Urtijëi, Italy, becoming the second-youngest person ever to attain the esteemed title of grandmaster. At the age of 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days, Praggnanandhaa joined the elite ranks of chess prodigies.

Praggnanandhaa continued his impressive run in 2019, securing the Xtracon Chess Open in Denmark in July with a remarkable score of 8½/10 points. In October of the same year, he emerged victorious in the World Youth Championships' Under-18 section, attaining a score of 9/11 and solidifying his status as a rising star in the chess world. At just 14 years, 3 months, and 24 days old, he also became the second-youngest player to achieve a rating of 2600.

In 2021, Praggnanandhaa added more feathers to his cap. He won the Polgar Challenge, the first leg of the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour, with a dominant performance, scoring an impressive 15.5/19 points. This victory earned him a coveted spot in the prestigious Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, where he demonstrated his skills against some of the world's top players.

One of Praggnanandhaa's notable milestones occurred on February 22, 2022, when he defeated the reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen, in a rapid game at the Airthings Masters Rapid Chess Tournament. At the age of 16, he became the youngest player at that time to defeat Carlsen, further highlighting his extraordinary talent and potential.

In addition to his successes on the international stage, Praggnanandhaa has participated in various prestigious tournaments, facing off against top-ranked players. His notable victories over high-rated grandmasters, including wins against Ding Liren and Teimour Radjabov, have further solidified his reputation as a formidable player.

Rating progress over the years

Famous Games

Praggnanandhaa has showcased his exceptional skills in numerous games, leaving a lasting impression on the chess community. Here are a few notable games that highlight his talent:

Praggnanandhaa vs. Magnus Carlsen (Airthings Masters Rapid Chess Tournament, 2022)
In this game, Praggnanandhaa defeated the reigning world champion, Magnus Carlsen, showcasing his tactical prowess and mature decision-making skills. The victory marked a significant milestone in Praggnanandhaa's career.

Praggnanandhaa vs. Ding Liren (Tata Steel Chess Masters, 2023): Praggnanandhaa's win against Ding Liren, a 2800-rated grandmaster, in a classical game at the Tata Steel Chess Masters 2023 was an impressive achievement. It demonstrated his ability to compete against and triumph over some of the world's strongest players.

Coaches and Mentors
Praggnanandhaa has had the guidance of several experienced coaches and mentors throughout his chess journey. His early chess training was under the tutelage of renowned coaches, including his father, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, who played a pivotal role in nurturing his talent. Praggnanandhaa's sister, R. Vaishali, a Woman Grandmaster and International Master, has also provided support and mentorship as a fellow chess player.

Praggnanandhaa has also worked with renowned trainers, including his childhood coach, longtime mentor RB Ramesh and other celebrated trainers, who have provided him with guidance and helped refine his skills. Their expertise and mentorship have played a crucial role in shaping Praggnanandhaa's development as a chess player.

Strategy requires thought, tactics require observation
Max Euwe

Looking Ahead

Praggnanandhaa's meteoric rise and extraordinary talent have brought hope and excitement to the Indian chess community and chess enthusiasts worldwide. With his unwavering dedication, passion for the game, and relentless pursuit of excellence, Praggnanandhaa is destined for an illustrious future in chess.

As he continues to mature and hone his skills, Praggnanandhaa is poised to make even greater strides in the chess world. His achievements serve as an inspiration to aspiring chess players, demonstrating that age is no barrier to success when coupled with hard work, determination, and a deep love for the game. As the chess community eagerly awaits his upcoming tournaments and endeavors, Praggnanandhaa's remarkable journey continues to unfold, captivating the hearts and minds of chess enthusiasts worldwide.

The blunders are all there on the board, waiting to be made!
Happy Learning & Keep Playing!
Be like Pragg!