Let’s take a moment and think of what you were doing at the age of 10. Struggling with ink pens? Deciding which sport is your favourite? Throwing a tantrum for a 16-bit video game?
While all that was also fun too, here’s what R Praggnanandhaa is doing: conquering the world of chess.
The 10-year-old beat a Grandmaster and held off two others at the KIIT International Festival of Chess in Bhubaneshwar to seal his third and final International Master (IM) norm — to become the youngest ever in the history of the sport to achieve IM status.
The previous record was set by Judit Polgar, who made it after turning 11. Praggnanandhaa, who is 10 years and 9 months old, has another year and two months if he wants to break the youngest Grandmaster’s record. That one is held by Sergey Karjakin.
A New Indian Express report says that the record-breaker was inspired by his sister to take up the game. His father cannot accompany him to tournaments due to his polio condition, but his mother Nagalakshmi has stepped up and taken a hands-on role in her son’s fledgling career.
His father Ramesh Babu told the newspaper…
He owes a lot to the two women in his life. When his sister Vaishali started playing, we had little idea what to do. But by the time Praggnanandhaa started playing, we were able to provide him with all that he needs. Maybe that is why he has progressed so fast. I’m physically handicapped due to polio, so his mother has to take him and his sister everywhere.
The next challenge for the youngster’s family is to raise money and get him as much international exposure as possible. Because as his father said, Praggnanandhaa’s ‘mindset is already that of a Grandmaster.’
Feature image source: Twitter