R Praggnanandhaa, the young Indian grandmaster, created history by defeating world number 1 Magnus Carlsen at the online rapid chess tournament Airthings Masters.
The 16-year-old Chess prodigy from Chennai managed to break Carlsen’s three-match-winning streak by defeating him in the 8th round of the game.
Little past 2am in India on Monday, 16 yr-old GM R Praggnanandhaa had one of the biggest moments of his young career so far. A win with Black over world champion Magnus Carlsen in the Airthings Masters, a 16-player online rapid tournament. Massive for Pragg! #AirthingsMasters pic.twitter.com/7kCnS1xsAg— Susan Ninan (@ninansusan) February 21, 2022
Praggnanandhaa’s victory was special as he had lost 3 consecutive games on the first day. Against Carlsen, he was playing as Black. Following the big win, Praggnanandhaa became only the third Indian ever to have defeated Carlsen after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna. He is now at the 12th position in the tournament.
Talking about his historic achievement, Anand who mentors Praggnanandhaa, told ESPN:
What I really admire about him is that he takes the blows and does it his way, as the song goes. In Wijk aan Zee he had some really tough blows but still fought and beat (Andrey) Esipenko in the last round. The first day in the current tournament was really bad for him but on the second day he came up with two very good wins. His fighting spirit is really something.
Born in 2005, R Praggnandhaa’s sister, Vaishali Rameshbabu, is also a noted Indian chess player. he was just 7 when he secured the title of FIDE Master – an open title below Grandmaster and International Master.
This is not the first time he has made India proud in the world of chess. In 2016, he became the youngest International Master in history at 10 years. In 2018, Praggnandhaa became the second youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess at the age of 12. In 2019, he won the U-18 World Chess Championship.
The entire world is celebrating his victory.
What a wonderful feeling it must be for Pragg. All of 16, and to have beaten the experienced & decorated Magnus Carlsen, and that too while playing black, is magical!— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) February 21, 2022
Best wishes on a long & successful chess career ahead. You’ve made India proud! pic.twitter.com/hTQiwznJvX
He is only the 3rd Indian to defeat Magnus. Before him, only Vishy and Hari have defeated him.— Ratnesh (@ratnesh806) February 21, 2022
Also, he won the Challenger’s Chess Tour in October, so he would be able to play this Champions Chess Tour for the whole season.https://t.co/MX7wDumM45
WooooooW !— KrishnaFromAtlanta (@Krishna59638949) February 22, 2022
When this Sassy Norwegian beat Our Grandmaster Vish Anand, Never thought he did be BEAT by a KID !!
Circle of LIFE !!
Absolutely brilliant from the 16 year-old GM R Praggnanandhaa! #AirthingsMasters https://t.co/GIcmQHEde8— Sahil Bhalla (@IMSahilBhalla) February 21, 2022
He joins one of only 3 Indian players to have a W over Magnus Carlsen.— Yew’s Finest (@FinestYew) February 21, 2022
He also accomplished this as a 16 year old playing in the pre dawn hours of the morning.
The game itself is pretty riveting stuff. Sort of incredible how he found those moves in a rapid game. https://t.co/L0h7YIG4nl
Woohoooo …. https://t.co/t2a1xmTyKi— Sunderesan Mahadevan (@sunda_m) February 21, 2022
This is huge!!! I never dreamt of this.— Sai Naveen Kethineedi (@kethineedi799) February 21, 2022
I bow down to this 16 year old kid.
Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa. #chess #India https://t.co/IRRpR9w9dQ
Finally caught up with that Praggnandhaa vs Carlsen match. Phew! I don’t think anyone other than Dubov has managed to disturb symmetry play of Magnus in rapid and blitz. Praggu destroyed, not merely disturbed symmetry fort of Carlsen— Flawsaphor (@flawsaphor) February 21, 2022
It was 2 in the morning when the match got over and when Praggnanandhaa was asked about his celebratory plans, he said:
I’m just going to go to bed.
What a brilliant kid!