‘Chess Prodigy’ is the only way to describe Chennai’s Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa. Only 12 years, 10 months and 13 days old, Praggnanandhaa is the second youngest person ever, to become a Chess Grandmaster.
In fact, at the tender age of just 10 years, 10 months and 19 days, this chess wizard, had become an International Master—the youngest in history.
With this distinction, he is second to only Sergey Karjakin, of Ukraine, who became the world’s youngest Grandmaster in 1990, reports the Times of India.
The Gredine Open, in Ortisei, Italy, has seen this lad play skilful chess, defeating several worthy opponents like Iran’s Aryan Gholami, and Italian Grandmaster (GM) Luca Moroni. Playing against the latter, the Chennai boy took the upper hand in the match at its outset, and held on, playing attacking chess, eventually forcing Moroni to buckle under the pressure mid-game.
Praggnanandhaa breezed through the first eight rounds, but in order to achieve his third GM norm, he had to play an opponent above the rating of 2482 in the ninth round. Luckily for him, he was drawn with Pruijssers Roland, of the Netherlands, who had a 2514 rating, and thus, he became the second chess player, to become a GM, before he turned 13.
Now, as far as the Gredine Open goes, Praggnanandhaa, is at the second spot, behind Croatian GM Saric Ivan.
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Praggnanandhaa had already achieved his first GM norm in the World Juniors 2017, and then his second GM norm, at the closed round-robin Herkalion Fischer Memorial GM Norm tournament in Greece. He has also crossed 2500 Elo rating points.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)
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