Praggnanandhaa's mother R Nagalakshmi beaming at her son as he speaks to the media after getting into the Chess World Cup semifinals has been one of the most beautiful sights to savour in Indian sports in recent times.
The 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa, who has beaten second and third seeds Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana on his way to the ongoing final against top seed Magnus Carlsen, has once again showed the role of parents in the rise of prodigal Indian sports talents.
"I must credit my wife, who accompanies them (Pragg and his sister Vaishali, also a Woman Grandmaster in her own right) to tournaments and is very supportive. She takes great care (of the two)," Rameshbabu, the proud father told PTI.
A bank employee, Rameshbabu never had too much idea about chess before he decided that his children, daughter Vaishali and son Praggnanandhaa needed to cut down on watching television.
"We had introduced Vaishali to chess so as to cut down on her TV viewing habits as a child. As it happened, the two children liked the game and decided to pursue it," Rameshbabu recalled.
While he talks to his wife and son everyday, he didn't get a chance after Praggnanandhaa's victory over world No. 3 Fabiano Caruana in a marathon semifinal match. He believes that Praggnanandhaa's consistent performances over the global stars like Carlsen, Nakamura, Caruana, meant that he was getting better with passage of time.
On if he had any advice for his son before his final against Carlsen, Rameshbabu said, "I never interfere with his chess...It is the job of his coach...I just tell him to eat properly and keep himself healthy."