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Monday, February 21, 2022

India's moment of pride : young prodigy Praggnanandhaa's date with destiny !!

We watched IPL auctions and then ODI & T20 series involving West Indies and India – not many of us followed Airthings Masters !! – tomorrow all newspapers would have it on their headlines !


Chess is not exactly a spectator sport – still state-of-the art transmission of top chess tournaments has created a new niche: Chess commentary when Vishwanathan Anand played in Chennai .  .. .. do you know the first Chess player to receive National honours was -  Anupama Gokhale (born Anupama Abhyankar. She won the Indian Women's Championship five times (1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, and 1997) and the Asian Women's Championship twice (1985 and 1987).  Gokhale was the recipient of the Padma Shri Award in 1986  and the Arjuna Award in 1990. She is the youngest Padma Shri awardee, being only 16 years old when she received it. She is married to Dronacharya Award winner Raghunandan Gokhale, a chess player himself.   

Levon Grigori Aronian   is an Armenian-American chess grandmaster. A chess prodigy, he earned the title of grandmaster in 2000, at age 17. Aronian held the No. 2 position in the March 2014 FIDE world chess rankings with a rating of 2830,  becoming the fourth-highest rated player in history. Aronian won the FIDE World Cup in 2005 and 2017. He led the Armenian national team to the gold medals in the Chess Olympiads of 2006 (Turin), 2008 (Dresden) and 2012 (Istanbul)  and at the World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo 2011.  Aronian has been the leading Armenian chess player since the early 2000s.  Well, the David Beckham of Chess was beaten by an Indian this day, but that would not be headlines of tomorrow !! 

The Airthings Masters tournament kicks off this year’s Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Sixteen players in total will battle it out in the round-robin stage of the online event before eight go forward to the knockout stage. The tournament has begun on Feb 19, with the action kicking off daily at 18.00 CET.   The Champions Chess Tour 2022, known for sponsorship reasons as the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, is a 9-month series of nine online chess tournaments featuring some of the world's top players, who play for a prize money pool of US$1.6 million.  In the Airthings Masters, a 16-player online rapid tournament, a player gets three points for a win and one for a draw in the preliminary rounds. Seven more rounds remain in the preliminary phase. 

Today Indian prodigy 16 year old Praggnanandhaa   outplayed Levon Aronian and swallowed it with a bigger win over -   Magnus Carlsen – it is an extraordinary day as he has beaten  Levon Aronian and that is not the biggest news of the day! 

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen is known to Indians – he played in Chennai too and dethroned Vish Anand.  The Norwegian chess grandmaster  is the reigning five-time World Chess Champion. Carlsen is also a three-time World Rapid Chess Champion and five-time World Blitz Chess Champion. Carlsen has held the No. 1 position in the FIDE world chess rankings since 1 July 2011, and trails only Garry Kasparov in time spent as the highest rated player in the world. His peak rating of 2882 is the highest in history. He also holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak at the top level in classical chess. 

            In 2010, at 19, he reached No. 1 in the FIDE world rankings, the youngest person ever to do so. Carlsen became World Chess Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand. The following year, he retained his title against Anand, and won both the 2014 World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship, becoming the first player to hold all three titles simultaneously, a feat which he repeated in 2019. He defended his classical world title against Sergey Karjakin in 2016, against Fabiano Caruana in 2018, and against Ian Nepomniachtchi in 2021.


The great news is young Indian Grandmaster R. Praggnanandhaa stunned world no. 1 Magnus Carlsen in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters, an online rapid chess tournament. Praggnanandhaa won with black pieces in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation game early on Monday to halt Carlsen's run of three straight wins.  

The Indian GM lies in joint 12th spot after eight rounds with eight points. His spectacular win over Carlsen comes after a moderate run in the earlier rounds, which included a solitary victory over Lev Aronian, two draws and four defeats. He drew against Anish Giri and Quang Liem Le and lost to Eric Hansen, Ding Liren, Jan-Kryzstof Duda and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.  Praggnanandhaa played  with the black pieces at the Airthings Masters 2022. It was an online game with a time control of 15+10. Until now the only Indians to beat Magnus in a tournament game have been Anand and P. Harikrishna. Pragg now joins the list!  

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (born 10 August 2005) is an Indian chess grandmaster. A chess prodigy, he is the fifth-youngest person ever to achieve the title of Grandmaster (GM), behind Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sindarov. He is the younger sibling of Vaishali Rameshbabu. Praggnanandhaa won the World Youth Chess Championships Under-8 title in 2013, earning him the title of FIDE Master at the age of 7. He won the Under-10 title in 2015. In 2016, Praggnanandhaa became the youngest international master in history, at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days.  He achieved his first grandmaster norm at the World Junior Chess Championship in November 2017, finishing fourth with 8 points. 

A great day for the Nation indeed !! – hearty wishes to young genius Praggnanandhaa
With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Feb 2022. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Writeup 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻