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Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa becomes junior world no. 1 in chess

Published at :February 3, 2024 at 11:50 PM
Modified at :February 3, 2024 at 11:50 PM
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(Courtesy : Hindustan Times)

Ajay Gandhar

Praggnanandhaa edged out Nodirbek Abdusattorov

The young chess star from India, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, has made history by reaching the top spot in the FIDE junior rankings on Friday. The Chennai-based grandmaster, who is 18 years old, has 2747 points, edging out the runner-up Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan by four points.

Praggnanandhaa, who achieved the grandmaster title at the age of 12 years and 10 months in 2018, becoming the fourth youngest ever to do so, has been playing brilliantly lately. He defeated Ding Liren in Tata Masters 2024. Praggnanandhaa joined Vishwanathan Anand as the only Indian player to defeat the reigning World champion.

Praggnanandhaa has reached the top of the junior rankings and is also the 13th-best player in the world among all age groups, just five points shy of the 10th spot held by Levon Aronian of Armenia. He is the leading Indian player in the world, surpassing Anand who is ranked 15th with 2730 points.

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Praggnanandhaa’s success is a remarkable feat for Indian chess, which has a history of producing world-class players. Other Indian players who are among the best juniors are D Gukesh at third, Nihal Sarin at sixth and Raunak Sadhwani at seventh. All of them have the grandmaster title and have performed well in international tournaments.

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