|Nickname||Praga The News Minute|
|Known For||Defeating world chess champion Magnus Carlsen in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters in February 2022|
|Physical Stats & More|
|FIDE rating||2612 (February 2022)|
|Date of Birth||10 August 2005 (Wednesday)|
|Age (as of 2023)||18 Years|
|Birthplace||Padi, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Hometown||Padi, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Educational Qualification||In 2022, he was studying in class ninth at Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai Education World|
|Parents||Father- Rameshbabu (bank employee)
|Siblings||Elder Sister- Vaishali Rameshbabu (chess player)|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa
- Praggananandhaa is an Indian chess player. He is best known for being the fifth one who won the title Grandmaster (GM) after the renowned chess players Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D, and Javokhir Sindarov in February 2022.
- In 2013, Praggnanandhaa won the World Youth Chess Championships Under-8 title. At the age of seven, he earned the title of FIDE Master. In 2015, he won the Under-10 title.
- At the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days, Praggananandhaa created history by becoming the youngest international master chess player. In 2017, he won the first grandmaster title at the World Junior Chess Championship. On 17 April 2018, he won the second grandmaster title at the Heraklion Fischer Memorial GM Norm tournament in Greece. Praggananandhaa earned the third grandmaster title on 23 June 2018 at the Gredine Open in Urtijëi, Italy, at the age of 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days following which Praggananandhaa became the second-youngest person to win the grandmaster title at this age.
- Praggananandhaa won the World Youth Championships in the Under-18 section on 12 October 2019. In December 2019, he achieved a rating of 2600 and became the second-youngest person to achieve this rating. Praggnanandhaa won the Polgar Challenge, which was organised by Julius Baer Group and Chess24.com for young talents in April 2021. The Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2022 was won by Praggnanandhaa in its Masters’ championships.
- In February 2022, Praggananandhaa created history after he won the eighth round of the Airthings Masters championships after defeating the world chess champion, Magnus Carlsen. Soon after his win, several Indian renowned players congratulated Praggananandhaa on his win. The cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar took to his Twitter account to congratulate Praggananandhaa. Sachin wrote,
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! Best wishes on a long & successful chess career ahead. You’ve made India proud!”
Bravo Praggnanandhaa!! 👏👏👏
Indian GM @rpragchess scored a stunning victory over World Champion Magnus Carlsen at the Airthings Masters yesterday! ✅✅✅#AirthingsMasters #ChessChamps #MagnusCarlsen #Praggnanandhaa pic.twitter.com/4wujOsDDLM
— Chess.com – India (@chesscom_in) February 21, 2022
- In February 2022, in a conversation with a media house, his father stated that he did not want Praga to play chess initially. He further added that Praga was only three and a half years old when he started learning chess. His father said,
Praga was only three-and-a-half years old when he began showing interest in the sport. His elder sister Vaishali was already being coached in the sport and is an International Master. Our financial situation was such that we could hardly manage to fund her classes and ferry her around. And when Praga took a keen interest in chess, my wife and I could not afford to let him pursue it.”
- Praga’s father was affected by polio at a very young age. The family of Praga lives on the income earned by his mother. Praga’s mother often travels with Praga and his sister for their world chess tournaments as their father is not able to travel with them. His elder sister Vaishali is a young Indian chess player. On 12 August 2018, she became the Woman Grandmaster (WGM) at the Riga Technical University Open chess tournament in Riga, Latvia after winning its final round. In 2021, she won the title of International Master (IM).
- According to his father, Praga often attends the weekly camps of chess organised by his coach, RB Ramesh. He also learns chess-playing skills by watching online matches of prominent world champions of chess. His father stated in a conversation with a media house that Praga also liked playing outdoor games to relax his mind. His father added that Praga was also good at studies. He said,
He studies well but the main focus remains chess. Academics take a back seat.”
- Praga remains very active on social media. He is followed by over 11k people on Facebook. More than 26k people follow his Twitter handle.
- The success story of Praga is often covered by renowned Indian newspapers in their articles.
- Soon after winning the online Airthings Masters championships on 22 February 2022, Praga was asked by a media house how would he celebrate his win. He then answered,
I think it’s about just going to bed.”
- On 22 February 2022, soon after his win, the Indian chess champion Viswanathan Anand stated in a conversation with a media house that Prag was a complete package. He said,
Prag is the real deal. All he needs to do is dot the i’s and cross the t’s. The basic ingredients are all there — just needs to be the complete package”
- In May 2022, he stunned the world champion (chess), Magnus Carlsen, for the second time in three months by winning the Chessable Masters online rapid chess tournament. The fifth round of the match headed towards a draw, however, a blunder move by Carlsen resulted in his (Carlsen’s) defeat. With his win, Rameshbabu has booked the fifth sport on the world leaderboard of Chess. Financial Express
- On 22 August 2022, he beat world No.1 Magnus Carlsen 4-2 in the final round of the FTX Crypto Cup; however, he could only take second place in the final standings. NDTV
- In August 2023, the Chairperson of Mahindra and Mahindra, Anand Mahindra, expressed his gratitude to Praggnanandhaa’s parents by gifting them an electric car. This gesture was in recognition of their role in nurturing Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa’s passion and providing unwavering support throughout his journey.
- In October 2023, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) S. Somanath visited Praggnanandhaa at his residence following which he announced that Praggnanandhaa would work with ISRO to encourage young individuals to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology and serve the nation. Deccan Herald