“He did it! He won!” Scorch cheered loudly.
“Who did it? Who won?” Felix asked. Orak and Verum, too, gathered around, looking curious.
Scorch answered, “Indian chess grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa defeated the highest-ranking chess player in the world – Magnus Carlsen!
On February 21, 2022, Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen went head to head on the eighth round of Airthings Masters. It is an online chess tournament. Carlsen had won three back-to-back games. But Praggnanandhaa stopped him in his tracks by winning the round with black pieces in 39 moves!
Praggnanandhaa is only the third Indian to beat the Norwegian chess grandmaster (highly skilled in chess) Carlsen.”
“Do you know how old Praggnanandhaa is?” Scorch smiled. She knew the information would shock her friends.
“He is only 16 years old!” Scorch exclaimed.
“Oh, my MysticLord, that is such an amazing achievement. Tell us more about Praggnanandhaa!” Orak begged.
“Praggnanandhaa is from Chennai, India. His father is a bank manager and his mother is a homemaker. When he was eight years old, he knew he wanted to become a chess player. At the age of 10, Praggnanandhaa became the youngest International Master in the history of chess. In 2018, when he was 12 years old, he became the world’s then second-youngest chess grandmaster,” Scorch said.
“He has had an amazing journey. I wonder who inspired him to play chess,” Verum said.
“Indian chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand was his inspiration,” Scorch said.
“Anand inspired many young minds. Anand is ranked 16 among the top 100 in the world. India has been steadily emerging as a chess ground. In 2007, India had only 20 grandmasters. Now, the country has 73 grandmasters. Today, there are seven Indian chess players among the top 100 in the world!” Scorch said.
“Chess requires stillness and focus,” Verum said, “Praggnanandhaa has achieved it and more at a young age. I am excited for the rest of his journey in the world of chess!”
“Me too!” Orak said. Scorch and Felix nodded.