Indian teenage grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa stunned world number 1 Magnus Carlsen in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters online rapid chess tournament, becoming the third from the country to claim a victory over the Norwegian superstar.
The 16-year-old prodigy has been hailed by many on social media, including cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and All-India Chess Federation President Sanjay Kapoor, after following former five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna to get the better of Carlsen. , the 31-year-old who is also the reigning world champion.
Praggnanandhaa won with black pieces in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation game early Monday to snap Carlsen’s three-game winning streak.
“I’m delighted to have beaten Carlsen. It will give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournament and the future as well,” he told PTI by phone.
For someone who brought down the best chess player on the planet, Praggnanandhaa wasn’t celebrating much yet and said he wanted to stay focused on the rest of the tournament.
“I have to focus on the games to come. After the game I just wanted to rest,” he said with a smile.
The teenage general manager also says there is no definite plan for the game against the Norwegian.
“No special plan or preparation for the Carlsen game. I just wanted to enjoy playing against him and not put too much pressure on myself (to face the world champion),” said Praggu, as his friends and coach RB Ramesh affectionately call him.
His coach, meanwhile, said he was delighted with his ward’s triumph over the best player in the world.
“It’s a great feeling. I am very proud of his achievement. It should do a lot of good for his self-confidence,” Ramesh said.
The Indian GM is in 12th place after eight laps with eight points.
“Always proud of our talents! Great day for @rpragchess,” tweeted Anand, who has eight wins over Carlsen to his name.
His dramatic win over Carlsen comes after a subdued run in the earlier rounds, which included a lone win over top 10 player Levon Aronian, two draws and four losses.
He drew against Anish Giri and Quang Liem Le and lost to Eric Hansen, Ding Liren, Jan-Kryzstof Duda and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
What a wonderful feeling that must be for Pragg. All at 16, and having beaten the experienced & decorated Magnus Carlsen, and that too by playing black, it’s magic! Best wishes for a long and successful chess career. You have made India proud! “Tweeted Tendulkar.
Sanjay Kapoor hailed the young GM and tweeted: “16 year old Indian #chess prodigy, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa has humbled no one but World Chess Champion, @MagnusCarlsen. wow! This young lad deserves huge applause for his remarkable feat. »
Praggnanandhaa is the fifth youngest person to become a GM.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also congratulated the young star.
Congratulations young Indian Grandmaster R #Praggnanandhaa on his stunning victory over reigning World Champion GM #MagnusCarlsen at the
#AirthingsMasters Chess Tournament. I wish her the best for the future,” he tweeted.
Praggnanandhaa will play four rounds later on Monday night and will face Nodirbek Abusattorov, Andrey Esipenko, Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi and Alexandra Kosteniuk.
Nepomniachtchi, who lost the world championship match a few months ago to Carlsen, leads the standings with 19 points followed by Ding Liren and Hansen (both with 15 points).
In the Airthings Masters, a 16-player online fast-paced tournament, a player gets three points for a win and one for a draw in the preliminary rounds. Seven other rounds remain in the preliminary phase.
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