16-year-old Indian Chess Grandmaster R Praggnanaddha stunned the world on Monday (February 21) when he defeated World No. 1, Magnus Carlsen, in the 8th round of the Airthings Masters online rapid chess tournament.
Indian Chess Grandmaster R Praggnanaddha, who defeated the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, in the 8th round of the Airthings Masters online rapid chess tournament on February 21, called on Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu in Chennai on Friday (February 25) to seek his blessings.
In a Facebook post, the Vice-President's office said, "After his remarkable performance in the Airthings Masters chess tournament, Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa met the Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu in Chennai and sought his blessings. Shri Naidu congratulated him and conveyed his best wishes for his future endeavours."
With his achievement on February 21, R. Praggnanandhaa has become the third Indian, after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna, to beat world champion Magnus Carlsen in a chess game.
"It was very hard because the game starts early morning at 3 am. I prepared for it every day by changing my routine to the tournament's schedule. I think it really worked out," ANI quoted Praggnanandhaa.
He added, "Yeah, I was also working hard in chess terms as well. I was happy in general to win. It gives me huge confidence… I am very happy to see so much support, really motivates me to work much harder and play better."
The child prodigy's full name is Rameshbabu Praggnanandha. He was born on August 10, 2005, in Chennai and is currently the 5th youngest to earn the title of being a Grandmaster. Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sindarov are ahead of him.
Expressing her happiness over Praggnanandha's achievement, her sister Vaishali Rameshbabu, who is a Woman Grand Master, told ANI, "We all are very happy about this. He is just 16-year-old and only the third Indian to defeat Carlsen. It's not easy because he has played many games online. It's always a challenge and he always gets excited to play against him (Carlsen)."
She added, "In the last month, he got to play over the board with him. It was a nice experience and now he has defeated him (Carlsen). Next time he will get the chance to play over the board tournament with him… he will have good chances and he will be more confident."
Earlier, Viswanathan Anand had picked him and Iranian-French GM Alireza Firouzja as the future stars of chess and trained both of them.