NEW DELHI (AFP) – Indian teenage chess grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa won praise yesterday for a stunning victory over world number one Magnus Carlsen in an online championship.
Praggnanandhaa, 16, who in 2016 became the youngest international master in history at age 10, beat Carlsen late on Monday at the Airthings Masters rapid chess tournament.
“It’s about time to go to bed as I don’t think I will have dinner at 2.30 in the morning,” a visibly calm Praggnanandhaa said after the 39-move victory playing black. Others have beaten Carlsen – including Indians Viswanathan Anand and Pentala Harikrishna – but Praggnanandhaa is the youngest since the Norwegian became world champion
Anand, a five-time world champion and acclaimed as the greatest chess player India has produced, tweeted: “Always proud of our talents! Very good day for @rpragchess.”
Indian cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar also joined in the praise for Chennai-born Praggnanandhaa, widely regarded as a future world title challenger.
“What a wonderful feeling it must be for Pragg. All of 16, and to have beaten the experienced and decorated Magnus Carlsen, and that too while playing black, is magical!,” Tendulkar wrote on Twitter.
“Best wishes on a long and successful chess career ahead. You’ve made India proud!”
Carlsen, 31, appeared to blunder in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event for a total prize pool of over USD1.5 million.