R Praggnanandhaa becomes youngest chess grandmaster of India

He also became the second youngest grandmaster in the world, losing out to Ukraine's Sergey Karjakin.

New Delhi: A little less than 13, chess player R Praggnanandhaa made history by becoming the youngest Indian grandmaster in history and the second youngest in the world by earning his third GM norm during the Gredine Open in Italy.

Being paired with Dutch GM Roeland Pruijssers for the final round, Praggnanandhaa was assured of a third norm irrespective of the result of the match. Now, he is placed joint-top on the table at the end of 8 rounds, with 6.5 points.

To become a grandmaster (GM), one needs to earn three norms and a 2500 rating. He had won his first GM norm at the World Junior Championships in Tarvisio in November 2017. He achieved his second norm by winning the Herkalion Fischer Memorial GM Norm tournament in Greece in April this year. In 2016, Praggnanandhaa had become the youngest International Master at 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days.

Praggnanandhaa’s coach at Chess Gurukul in Chennai, RB Ramesh, said he was delighted with his ward’s achievement. “I am happy and relieved because he was getting close and missing narrowly on a few occasions,” he told The Field.

Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine holds the record for being the youngest GM in the world at 12 years and seven months in 2002. Viswanathan Anand, India’s first ever GM, was 18 years old when he earned his third norm. Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion, became a GM when he was 13 years and 4 months old.

The youngest grandmasters in history:

1. Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine) 12 years, 7 months
2. R Praggnandhaa (India) 12 years, 10 months
3. Nodirbek Abdusattorov Uzbekistan 13 years, 1 month
4. Parimarjan Negi India 13 years, 4 months
5. Magnus Carlsen Norway 13 years, 4 months

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