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Remember the name R Praggnanandhaa. The Chennai boy who has not even turned 13 has already been setting ripples along the Chess world with his prodigious talent. Most recently, not only did he become India's youngest ever grandmaster, he also found a place as the second in the overall list of youngest chess players to achieve the title, missing out on the top spot by merely 3 months. Adding to all that, however, is the fact that young Pragg finished second in the 4th Gredine Open held in Italy after he won the final round against Dutch GM Roeland Pruijssers. The accolades once begun, do not seem to stop for Praggnanandhaa. Also read: Viswanathan Anand: The tiger cub from Madras He scored 7.5 points out of a possible 9 throughout the entirety of the tournament. By the end, Praggnanandhaa now has an ELO rating of 2,529. He was initially tied for the first position with Croatian GM Ivan Saric (ELO 2,685) but a tie breaker decided the fact that he came second at the end of the tournament. IANS caught up with both Praggnanandhaa and his father regarding his monumental achievement.
"We are happy at the results. Praggnanandhaa got his GM norm and finished in the top jointly with another player," his father A.Ramesh Babu, a banker, told IANS. All of India rose up in collective adulation after Praggnanandhaa achieved his historic feat. Grandmasters, politicians and other figures associated with sport took to Social media to congratulate the young lad on his fantastic performance. Even Viswanathan Anand was not to be left behind https://twitter.com/vishy64theking/status/1010715361459691520 Pragg's achievement, however, also brought to light the general apathy surrounding the concept of chess as a sport in India. Ramesh RB, the founder of Chess Gurukul and Pragg's teacher had taken to Twitter yesterday to voice his concern over the fact that there was no official recognition for what either he or Praggnanandhaa had achieved. "My impressions on the current scenario in Indian sports award system by central/state governments: 1. Anyone who achieves creditable performance in any sport field must apply for the award himself to be eligible for it. This in itself I am not comfortable with" Ramesh said. https://twitter.com/Rameshchess/status/1010740152539308032 https://twitter.com/Rameshchess/status/1010740543377178626 Hopefully, Pragg's achievement will make chess a part of the buzz in the Indian sporting scenario.
"I felt very happy on getting the final GM norm. Now the world chess body (FIDE) has to give the final nod for me to put the GM title before my name," Pragg was quoted as saying.