Chennai lad wins laurels in chess tourneys
Friday, 18 November 2016
Chennai: At 11, R Praggnanandhaa is more childish than others of the same age, says his father Ramesh Babu. The lad is more than a handful at home, but once at a chess board he is all seriousness, the young player’s dad adds.
Praggnanandhaa, a resident of Kurinji Street in Kumaran Nagar Extension-II, Padi, in Ambattur area in Chennai, has made the chess world take notice with his exploits and is on track to become the youngest Grand Master ever.
A sixth standard student of Velammal School, the Chennai boy won a bronze medal in the under-12 category in the World Cadets Championship at Georgia, USA, recently.
Praggnanandhaa, who already holds the record for becoming the youngest International Master ever, has already impressed pundits, who say that the boy’s early career is outpacing Karjakin (who became GM at the age of 12 years and seven months) and Norway’s reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen (GM at 13 years four months).
The youngster already has many trophies and titles to his name. He won the world under-eight title in 2013, the Under-10 last year and is improving rapidly.
His father, a bank employee, says there is no pressure on Praggu to achieve the GM title. “We just want him to play his natural game and enjoy it too,” Ramesh Babu says.
After watching Pragga and his sister Vaishali do well, their parents too have begun to follow the game. “I didn’t know anything about chess but now follow it. My wife accompanies Praggnanandhaa to tournaments,” he tells ‘News Today’.
He has been a child prodigy and has done well in age-group tournaments and has come under the wings of former player R B Ramesh, who thinks despite the increased expectations the youngster is staying grounded.
Ramesh Babu says the school has been a great support to Pragga and Vaishali and come forward to reimburse air fare when they qualify for world events.
The 11-year-old, a huge fan of cartoons (like ‘Chota Bheem’, ‘Mighty Raju’ and ‘Tom & Jerry’) is pretty clear about his ambitions and wants to achieve the GM title in a year’s time. His father is happy to see the boy do well and hopes he can enjoy the game in doing so.