Chennai boy R Praggnanandhaa, on 23 June, became the second youngest chess grandmaster in the world. Praggnanandhaa is just 12 years, 10 months and 14 days old. In 1990, Ukraine’s Sergey Karjakin became the youngest grandmaster at 12 years and 7 months.
Praggnanandhaa, who has been playing at the Gredine Open in Ortisei, Italy, beat Italian grandmaster Luca Moroni Jr in the 8th round, according to a Times of India report. The game saw the Chennai lad play some powerful attacking chess and not letting go of the advantage he got in the beginning of the game.
Feeling the pressure midway, Moroni resigned giving the game to Praggnanandhaa.
Praggnanandhaa has bagged some great wins in this tournament. Apart from the Italian GM, he also beat Iranian player Aryan Gholami. This, however, was not enough to crown Praggnanandhaa a grandmaster. In the ninth round, the boy had to face an opponent with a rating of above 2482.
He was paired with Roeland Pruijssers from the Netherlands whose rating was 2514.
The current Croatian GM Ivan Šarić leads the race and Praggnanandhaa comes right after him, in the second spot.
The Chennai boy won the GM title in World Juniors 2017 and his second GM norm at a closed round-robin tournament in Greece. He has also crossed 2500 Elo rating points. Elo is the system used to calculate chess ratings.
(This article was first published in The News Minute and has been re-published with permission.)
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