India’s R Praggnanandhaa becomes world’s 2nd youngest Chess Grand Master

Chennai lad R Praggnanandhaa created history on 23 June 2018 as he became the second youngest Grandmaster in the world at 12 years, 10 months and 13 days. Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine had become the youngest Grandmaster at 12 years, seven months back in 1990.

Praggnanandhaa has been playing some flawless chess in Grenadine Open in Ortisei, Italy. He has accounted for some fine wins under his belt, including defeating Iran youngster Aryan Gholami. On Saturday, Praggnandhaa beat Italian GM Luca Moroni Jr in the eighth round. However, it was not enough for the youngster to earn his third GM norm.

In the game against Moroni, Praggnanandhaa got an advantage right out of the opening. He didn’t let the advantage slip away and played powerful attacking chess to convert the point. Moroni buckled under the pressure in the middlegame, handing the match to Praggnanandhaa.

In the ninth round, Praggnanandhaa had to play an opponent above the rating of 2482 to achieve the norm. Fortunately, he was drawn with Pruijssers Roeland of the Netherlands, whose rating was 2514. Praggnanandhaa now becomes the second chess player to become a GM before the age of 13.

Praggnanandhaa had already achieved his first GM norm in the World Juniors 2017, and he achieved his second GM norm at a closed round-robin tournament in Greece. He had also crossed 2500 Elo rating points.

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