At the tender age of 12, R Praggnanandhaa has become the country’s youngest and world’s second youngest Grandmaster after making it to the last round of the Gredine Open in Italy. Reportedly, he missed out on becoming the youngest by merely 3 months with Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine holding the record of being the youngest Grandmaster in the world at 12 years, 7 months. Karjakin won this title in the year 2002. Surprisingly, the 4th position in youngest Grandmasters is also bagged by an Indian named Parimarjan Negi. Negi is only 13 years, 4 months and 22 days old.

According to a report, Pragnnandhaa beat Italian Grandmaster Luca Moroni Jr in the 8th round. During the game, this Chennai boy was seen using his some very powerful and strategic moves against his opponent. Getting pressurized by his clever moves, Moroni resigned giving the game to Praggnanandhaa.

India’s iconic chess player Vishwanathan Anand also lauded the 12-year-old and said he has a bright future. Anand also said that Pragnnandhaa is only a strong player but also has an ability to imagine a middle game play with patient endgame skills. He further added that it seems Pragnnandhaa is a player who is uncompromising and is not ready for quickdraws. Anand also lauded him for showing a level of sophistication in handling tournament games.

As per the procedure, one needs to earn 3 norms and an Elo rating of 2500. Reportedly, this Indian teenager had earlier won his first GM norm at the World Junior Championships in Tarvisio in Italy in the year 2017. Praggnanandhaa achieved the second norm after bagging a position in Heraklion Fischer Memorial GM Norm tournament in Greece 2018. IN the 8th round at the Grenadine Open, he has scored 6.5 points to stand joint-top.

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Deepti Jain