Meet R Praggnanandhaa from Chennai who created history by becoming India’s youngest and World’s second youngest grandmaster at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 14 days.
According to Indian Express, R Praggnanandhaa became the second youngest grandmaster by beating Grandmaster Luca Moroni in the eighth round of the Gredine Open at Ortisei in Italy. When a TV reporter asked him an unavoidable question, “Do you regret not becoming the youngest ever?” He simply replied with a smile on his face, “No regrets.”
This Chennai youngster made powerful moves in the game and did not let away any advantages he got at the beginning of the game.
The current title of world’s youngest Grandmaster is held by Croatian GM Saric Ivan who is 12 years, 7 months old and R Praggnanandhaa comes right after him at world’s second youngest grandmaster at age 12 years, 10 months and 13 days.
Legendary Viswanathan Anand also praised him on Twitter for his achievement.
Welcome to the club & congrats Praggnanandhaa!! See u soon in chennai?
— Viswanathan Anand (@vishy64theking) June 24, 2018
Viswanathan also told ESPN, “What impresses me about Praggnanandhaa is that he’s not just a strong player but mixes imaginative middle game play with patient endgame skills and is uncompromising in not settling for easy, quickdraws. He’s also shown a level of sophistication in handling tournament games. I think he will go far.”
Viswanathan added, “At his age, I had played chess mostly with my mother. He’s beating guys twice his age, he’s super composed, is mature for his age, and if he keeps improving at the pace he is, he could do bigger things in life,”
He also became the youngest international master at the age of 10 years and 9 months in May 2016.
His coach R B Ramesh became a GM in his 20s said, “Praggu was always relaxed. We never put him under any sort of pressure and hardly ever discussed the record. On our part, we ensured that we provided him the best environment to achieve it, we gave him both the emotional and tactical support,”
He added, “He realizes that it’s just the start of a wonderful journey. The novelty of the achievement would fade he would be judged by the big tournaments he wins. His ambition is to be bracketed alongside the Anands and Carlsens, to become a world champion one day,”
R Rameshbabu, Praggananandhaa’s father, who is suffering from Polio told ESPN, “My wife was already traveling with Vaishali (his elder sister) when Praggnanandhaa started playing. So our first worry was how we would manage both their schedules, but realizing his passion for chess, we were forced to give in”.