‘I’ve come to learn chess, not cricket ’these were the remarks of a four year old, Praggnanandhaa Ramesh babu when his coach Ramesh said that he was too young to learn chess. Today he is the world’s second and India’s youngest grand master at the age of 12 years 10 months and 13 days preceding Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine.
Praggnanandhaa became the youngest International Master in May 2017 and achieved his first GM norm in the World Juniors meet in November 2017.He won his second GM norm at a tournament in Greece in April this year. Since then all ears awaited to hear him achieve his third norm to win the GM title which he accomplished in June this year.
His achievement has been well appreciated throughout the country with Rajavardhan Singh Rathore, awarding Praggnanandhaa with 400,000 rupees from the National Sports Development fund for training.
Vishwanathan Anand is also impressed about Praggnanandhaa’s ability to mix imaginative middle game play with patient endgame skills and his endurance for uncompromising not to settle for easy, quick-draws.
The game of chess is not new to India. It is believed that a predecessor of this game originated in the country in the sixth century AD, and further spread to Persia where it developed into the “Game of Kings” it is today.
India has produced many world class chess players with legends like Vishwanathan Anand who became the country’s first grandmaster at the age of 18 in 1988 and hence has dominated the game in the last three decades.
With talents like Praggnanandhaa coming along the way the future for chess in India looks pretty bright.