In a remarkable feat at the 2024 Tata Steel Chess Tournament, 18-year-old chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa secured the number one position among India’s chess players. His notable victory came against the reigning World Champion Ding Liren, where Praggnanandhaa emerged victorious with the black pieces. This triumph propelled him past the iconic Viswanathan Anand to claim the coveted top spot in the Indian chess hierarchy.
Surprising Outcome Against World Champion Ding Liren
Expressing his astonishment at the outcome, Praggnanandhaa revealed that he didn’t anticipate defeating the world champion in such a decisive manner. Reflecting on the game, he mentioned, “I felt I equalized very easily, and then somehow things started to go wrong for him. Even after I won the pawn, I felt it should be holdable,” as reported by Chess.com. The young chess sensation emphasized the significance of the victory, stating, “I think any day, if you beat such a strong player, it’s always special because it’s not very easy to beat them. The first time winning against a world champion in classical chess feels good.”
R Vaishali Joins Praggnanandhaa in Making Chess History
Adding to the chess milestones, R Vaishali, Praggnanandhaa’s elder sister, achieved the title of Chess Grandmaster, forming the world’s first brother-sister Grandmaster duo from India. Praggnanandhaa, who started playing chess at the age of 5, had previously become India’s youngest Grandmaster at the age of 12 in 2018, making him the second-youngest Grandmaster globally at that time. Notably, Praggnanandhaa is the fifth-youngest person ever to attain the prestigious Grandmaster title, following the likes of Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D, and Javokhir Sindarov.
Anish Giri Leads in the Masters Category
In the Masters category, Grandmaster Anish Giri showcased his prowess by securing the sole leadership position heading into the first rest day. Giri’s strategic moves proved decisive as he claimed victory over D Gukesh, solidifying his position as the frontrunner in the tournament.