R Praggnanandhaa: The OG, original child prodigy, now challenger to World No 1 Magnus Carlsen
In the post-pandemic world, a new tidal wave of Indian teenagers had swamped the chess landscape, but the 18-year-old R Praggnanandhaa remains the OG, the original child prodigy. The other bright young stars – D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi, Nihal Sarin – are all walking the path paved by the Chennai boy who goes by the name of Pragg on the global chess circuit.
On Monday, Pragg nudged a reminder by downing the reigning US chess champion Fabiano Caruana via the tiebreaker to enter the final in Baku, where Magnus Carlsen, the modern day chess genius, another OG, awaits him. Befittingly, Viswanathan Anand, who breathlessly tweeted about Pragg’s progress, would be moved to post: “what a performance”.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic brought over-the-board chess tournaments to a grinding halt, Pragg was India’s brightest star. He became an international master at the age of 10, the youngest in the world to do so; became a GM at the age of 12 in 2018, the second youngest player to do so at the time. Sarin and Erigaisi followed on his heels in the same year before D Gukesh became a GM in 2019. Pragg reached the 2600 mark in the ELO rating at the age of 14, once again a world record at the time. (READ MORE)
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