R Praggnanandhaa Overtakes Legendary Viswanathan Anand To Become India's No.1 Chess Player

R Praggnanandhaa Overtakes Legendary Viswanathan Anand To Become India's No.1 Chess Player

Praggnanandhaa defeat China's Liren at the TATA Steel Chess Tournament to surpass Viswanathan Anand to take the number one spot.

ANIUpdated: Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 12:09 PM IST
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R Praggnanandhaa | Credits: Twitter

Chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa clinched the number one spot among India's chess players following his victory over World Champion Ding Liren.

The 18-year-old defeated China's Liren with the black pieces at the 2024 Tata Steel Chess Tournament on Wednesday and surpassed the legendary Viswanathan Anand to take the number one spot.

Praggnanandhaa said he was surprised with the outcome as he didn't expect the world champion to get ousted in such a fashion.

"I felt I equalized very easily and then somehow things started to go wrong for him. Even after I won the pawn I felt it should be holdable," Praggnanandhaa was quoted as saying by Chess.com.

"I think any day, if you beat such a strong player, it's always special because it's not very easy to beat them. The first time winning against a world champion in classical chess feels good," he added.

Praggnanandhaa is the 2nd youngest Chess Grandmaster

Praggnanandhaa, who started playing at the tender age of 5, went on to become India's youngest and the then world's second-youngest Grandmaster at age 12 in 2018.

He is the fifth-youngest person ever to achieve the title of Grandmaster after Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sindarov. Incidentally, his elder sister R Vaishali is also a Grandmaster, which makes the siblings the world's first-ever brother-sister GM duo.

In the Masters category, Grandmaster Anish Giri headed into the first rest day as the sole leader in the group. Giri's sensational moves helped him secure a victory over D Gukesh.

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