Mumbai: Sixteen-year-old chess Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa stunned world No 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters online rapid chess tournament on Monday. He became the third Indian chess player after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna to beat Carlsen. The Norwegian superstar lost to Pragganandhaa with black pieces in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation game.
Expectedly, his extraordinary feat has left the country elated with veteran cricketer Sachin Tendulkar congratulating the young grandmaster for making India proud. Tendulkar also wished Praggnanandhaa a “successful” chess career ahead.
“What a wonderful feeling it must be for Pragg. All of 16, and to have beaten the experienced & decorated Magnus Carlsen, and that too while playing black, is magical! Best wishes on a long & successful chess career ahead. You’ve made India proud,” Tendulkar tweeted.
The Chennai-born chess prodigy also promptly replied saying, “Thank you very much sir! It means a lot coming from you!!”
India’s first Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand also took to social media to congratulate Praggnanandhaa on his victory over Carlsen . “Always proud of our talents! Very good day for @rpragchess”, Anand posted on Twitter.
Post the match, the teenage Grandmaster told PTI, “I am delighted to have beaten Carlsen. It will give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the tournament and future also. I have to focus on the upcoming matches. After the match I just wanted to rest.”
Also read: Meet India’s new Test captain Rohit Sharma
The Airthings Masters has a a 16-player online rapid format, where the winner gets three points, while a draw earns him only one in the preliminary rounds. Seven more rounds remain in the preliminary phase.
Born as Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa on August 10, 2005 in Chennai, he is the sibling of popular Indian chess player Vaishali Rameshbabu. He is the fifth-youngest person after Abhimanyu Mishra, Gukesh D, Sergey Karjakin, and Javokhir Sindarovt to achieve the title of Grandmaster.