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22 Aug 2017

Meet Praggnanandhaa, India's 12 year-old chess prodigy

Praggnanandhaa- From a boy to a man

Recently, Praggnanandhaa, who is only 12 years old, became the youngest chess player ever to cross 2500 FIDE-rating points.

He achieved the feat when he won the Vlissingen Open title in The Netherlands.

If he can get three GM norms within the next seven months, the youngster will become the youngest-ever Grandmaster in the world.

In context

Praggnanandhaa- From a boy to a man
How it all started

The beginning

How it all started

Praggnanandhaa took interest in chess as a young boy after he saw his elder sister play the game.

Initially, his parents did not want him to play chess but on seeing the young boy's desire, they did not resist.

Gradually, the funds started to flow as the two siblings improved and started winning titles.

The coach's role

The role of coach GM RB Ramesh

Praggnanandhaa's coach for the last three years, GM RB Ramesh, first met the prodigy when he was eight years old.

He was immediately struck by the young boy's calmness, fantastic memory and unprecedented willingness to learn and took him under his wing.

Ramesh realised that the youngster's ability to analyse the game was beyond his age, and this made him a special talent.

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Praggnanandhaa's claim to fame

Under the limelight

Praggnanandhaa's claim to fame

Praggnanandhaa first shot into the limelight in 2013 when he won the World Youth Chess Championship Under-8 boys title.

Two years later, in 2015, he would go on to win the same title in the Under-10 category.

After that, he kept on improving and his home's trophy cabinet kept on filling up.

Youngest IM

He became the youngest IM at 10 years of age

Praggnanandhaa was just 10 years and nine months old when he achieved the IM title which made him the youngest IM of all time.

Last year, he achieved the third and final norm at the Bhubaneswar-held KIIT International Open, which coupled with his ELO rating of over 2400, granted him the IM title.

He thus broke the long-standing previous record held by Judit Polgar.

The focus remains on improving, not winning


The focus remains on improving, not winning

History books beckon Praggnanandhaa but his parents or coach do not want to put any pressure on him.

"There is absolutely no pressure on Pragg. He should enjoy the game and keep improving. We never remind him about the youngest GM record, nor do we care about it," his father clarified.

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