CHENNAI: A 12-year-old boy wizard from Chennai, R Praggnanandhaa, has become second youngest Grandmaster in the world and the youngest in the country.
Praggnanandhaa reached this unique feat at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 13 days, after reaching the final round of the ongoing Grendine Open in Italy. He is also the second player to achieve the Grandmaster title in chess before turning 13.
Ukraine's Serget Karjakin remains the youngest ever Grandmaster, achieving the feat at the age of 12 years and seven months.
Earlier, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi congratulated the boy on social media. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, “Just 12 yrs old, Chennai boy R Praggnanandaah has become the second youngest Chess Grand Master ever! Congratulations to him and his coach @RameshChess. This is truly an incredible achievement.”
Just 12 yrs old, Chennai boy R Praggnanandaah has become the second youngest Chess Grand Master ever!
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 24, 2018
Celebrating the success, Praggnanandhaa's father Ramesh Babu told ANI, “We never forced him to join the game. It is a joyous moment for all of us. We are proud of him.”
After being paired with Dutch Grand Master Roeland Pruijssers for the final round, Praggnanandhaa was assured of a third norm irrespective of the result of the match. He is placed joint-top on the table at the end of 8 rounds, with 6.5 points.
Praggnanandhaa won his first Grand Master norm at the World Junior Championships in Tarvisio in November 2017. He achieved his second norm by winning the Herkalion Fischer Memorial Grand Master Norm tournament in Greece in April earlier this year.
He missed out on becoming the youngest ever by three months with Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine holding the record of being the youngest Grandmaster in the world at 12 years, 7 months - a feat achieved in 2002.
With agency inputs