R Praggnanandhaa overtakes legendary Vishwanathan Anand to become India's no. 1 chess player

Praggnanandhaa also became the second Indian after Anand to beat the defending world champion in classical chess.

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Payal Debnath
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R Praggnanandhaa overtakes legendary Vishwanathan Anand to become India's no. 1 chess player

R Praggnanandhaa overtook Viswanathan Anand to become India's new no. 1. Image- Telangana Today

Chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa regained the number one spot among India's chess players after his victory over world champion Ding Liren at the Tata Steel Chess Masters in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, on Tuesday.

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R Praggnanandhaa defeated China's Ding Liren at the Tata Steel Chess Masters. Image- Scroll.in
R Praggnanandhaa defeated China's Ding Liren at the Tata Steel Chess Masters. Image- Scroll.in

The 18-year-old player defeated China's Liren with black pieces, surpassing the great Vishwanathan Anand to become the number one position with a FIDE rating of 2748.3, while Anand is in the second spot with 2748. Praggnanandhaa also became the second Indian after Anand to beat the defending world champion in classical chess.

Last year, Gukesh D surpassed Anand to become India's no. 1 in 36 years. However, he lost his contest with Anish Giri at the Tata Steel Masters. While Vidit Gujrathi, the third Indian player in the fray, was held to a draw by Jorden Van Foreest. Pragganandhaa is currently third on the leaderboard as Giri topped the chart at the end of the first day of the event.

R Praggnanandhaa, who started playing at the age of 5, became India's youngest and then world's second-youngest grandmaster at the age of 12 in 2018. In addition, he is the fifth youngest person to achieve the title of Grandmaster after Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sindarov. Incidentally, their elder sister R Vaishali is also a Grandmaster, making the siblings the world's first brother-sister GM pair.

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Playing with black pieces, Praggnanandhaa was in a commanding position throughout the game. This was also his first win in four rounds at the Tata Steel chess event in this year after three draws. Incidentally, Praggnanandhaa defeated Ding with black pieces in 2023 as well at the same event. At that time, Ding was world no. 2. Ding has made a rare appearance at Tata Steel chess since winning the world championship by beating Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi.

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