12-year-old R Praggnanandhaa, who has already achieved the title of the second youngest Grandmaster and the youngest International Master when he was 10, has won the Gredine Open title in Italy. The past few days had been a memorable and successful one for the second youngest Grandmaster. Praggnanandhaa on Sunday was facing a challenge from GM Roeland Pruijssers from Dutch. Praggnanadhaa finished the game with 7.5 points and defeated Roeland and finished the tournament with joint-top with Croatian GM Ivan Saric.

Hailing from Chennai and learning Chess from the age of R Praggnanandhaa’s journey so far has been an inspirational one as he overcame many obstacles. However, he was always supported by his family, especially his father, who was initially not sure to let him choose Chess as a career option given the financial concerns the sport has associated with it.

Who is R Praggnanandhaa, the second youngest Grandmaster

Born and brought up in Chennai, R Praggnanandhaa generated interest in Chess at the age of 5 and started learning the art. His family was initially reluctant to let him go further in this field as they had financial concerns, which the sport has associated with it. However, keeping these concerns aside, Praggnanandhaa’s family and especially his father went forward and supported him.

They enrolled him to a Chess academy to master the art and furhter go ahead in the field. Praggnanandhaa with his full dedication and talent grabbed a number of titles and at the age of 10, he became the youngest International Master.

R Praggnanandhaa’s father stood by him

R Praggnanandhaa’s father Rameshbabu, despite his personal problems and challenges, always supported his son to achieve his career path. His father and family initially were in two minds whether to let him go forward on this path as sustaining two Chess career had financial concerns because his elder is also a Chess expert. Praggnanandhaa’s father had battled with Polio in his childhood and faced challenges to get himself financially stable. He ended up with a decent job and decided to support his children in every way he could have done. Praggnanandhaa’s father now works in a bank.

His coach Ramesh RB while sharing about his success took to Twitter and said that Praggnanandhaa is an inspiration to him. He added, “BIG Relief! Congratulations @rpragchess. Great inspiration personally working with you! He travels an hour each way to attend lessons. Great commitment from the parents.”

Informing about Praggnanandhaa’s progress in the game, ChessBase India had informed, “Praggnanandhaa beats GM Moroni Luca Jr. (2549) in the 8th round of the Gredine Open in Ortisei, Italy. Now if he plays an opponent above the rating of 2482 in the final round then he would make his 3rd GM norm without having to score any points.

Praggnanandhaa won his firm GM nnormat the World Junior Championship in Tarvisio, November 2017 and grabbed the 2nd GM norm when he achieved the Herkalion Fischer Memorial GM Norm tournament in Greece in April 2018. Praggnanandhaa grabbed the third GM norm in Italy this week.

About the author

Shashwat Bhandari