Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa: Top achievements of FIDE World Cup 2023 finalist
The youngster will play World No. 1 for the title of World Champion of Chess.
Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, or R Praggnanandhaa, is the talk of the town after his heroic performances against the World No. 2 and World No. 3 in the FIDE World Cup 2023. The 18-year-old is playing Magnus Carlsen in the finals of the Chess World Cup and has already qualified for the Candidates 2024. By doing so, he has broken and set many records in the history of chess.
We take a look at some of such achievements of the Indian teenager ahead of his final against Magnus Carlsen.
1. Only the second Indian to qualify for the semi-finals and finals of the FIDE World Cup
R Praggnanandhaa scripted history when he became the first Indian after the Indian legend Vishwanathan Anand to enter the semi-finals of the FIDE World Cup. The teenager achieved this feat after getting past compatriot Arjun Erigaisi in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. He later defeated World No. 3 Fabiano Caruana to set up the title clash against Norway’s Magnus Carlsen.
2. Youngest player to qualify for the finals of the FIDE World Cup
A trend one would see throughout the article, Praggnanandhaa sets a record by becoming the youngest to do something in the history of chess. And we start off with perhaps his greatest achievement so far of all – he became the youngest player ever to qualify for the finals of the FIDE World Cup when he defeated USA’s World No. 3 Fabiano Caruana in the semi-finals.
3. Third youngest player ever to qualify for the Candidates
By winning the semi-final game against the USA chess Grandmaster, Praggnanandhaa not only qualified for the finals of the tournament but also booked his berth in the Candidates 2024. And by doing so, he became the third youngest player ever to qualify for the tournament after legendary Bobby Fischer, current World No.1 and his finals opponent Magnus Carlsen.
4. Was the youngest IM ever
Praggnanandhaa became the youngest IM ever in 2016 after he received his third norm at the age of 10 years 10 months and 19 days. For the uninitiated, a norm is an achievement rewarded for a very high level of performance in a tournament. The levels are decided by the ratings for the tournament with a threshold for high levels set. However, Abhimanyu Mishra of New Jersey took over the record of the Indian after he earned his third norm 17 days younger than the record.
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5. Was the second youngest GM ever
Although the record now is not with Praggnanandhaa anymore, he was once the second youngest GM ever when he was crowned with the title at 12 years and 10 months. He now is the fifth youngest, with Sergey Karjakin, Abhimanyu Mishra, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sundarov being the only players younger when awarded the title.
6. Youngest ever to beat Magnus Carlsen
Before Gukesh D managed to get the better of the player who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time in the history of chess, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa was the youngest player ever to defeat the Norwegian Grandmaster. He beat Magnus as a 16-year-old in the Airthings Masters rapid chess tournament. He also became the only third Indian at the time to secure a win against Magnus, with Vishwanathan Anand and Harikrishna being the other two.
7. Second youngest ever to reach 2600 rating
Praggnanandhaa crossed the 2600 rating (the norm for high level among grandmasters) as the second youngest ever behind China’s Wei Yi. Currently, the youngest Indian to cross the 2600 rating is Nihal Sarin with the record set at 14 years of age.