Indian Teen Defeats World Chess Champion

Praggnanandhaa; The Indian Teenager Who Defeateda World Champion in Chess.

Praggnanandhaa affectionately referred to as Pragg, achieved an
exceptional feat by outplaying the second and third-highest-ranked chess
players worldwide, propelling him to the finals of the World Cup. This
accomplishment stands as a remarkable milestone, considering that no
Indian contender had advanced to the finals since the renowned
Vishwanathan Anand secured victory in 2002.

Notably, Pragg made history as the youngest participant in the finals and
the third-youngest contender to qualify for the prestigious Candidates
Tournament, a distinction shared with luminaries such as Carlsen and
Bobby Fischer. These achievements have undeniably solidified his
reputation within the chess community. Moreover, they mark a pivotal
“generational shift” in the sport, with India poised to emerge as a dominant
force, as highlighted by Devangshu Datta, a chess player rated by FIDE
and a respected columnist for The Times of India.

The recently concluded World Cup witnessed a remarkable feat, with four
Indian players advancing to the quarterfinals, effectively securing an
impressive 50% of the available slots. At present, an impressive cohort of
21 Indian players under the age of 20 holds positions in the top 100 junior
players globally. Among them, four rank among the top 10, and an
additional seven within the top 20. These burgeoning talents are
anticipated to exert their influence over the chess realm for a substantial
span of a decade or more, as stated by Datta.

This theory holds considerable merit, largely due to the proliferation of
young chess enthusiasts across India. This trend initiated in the early
2000s following Anand’s triumphs, and it has since gained remarkable
momentum. The widespread accessibility of smartphones and affordable
internet connectivity has facilitated skill development through gaming apps
and online tournaments. In addition, foundational chess coaching is readily
accessible, presenting a stark contrast to the circumstances of the past few

Nonetheless, the current landscape diverges significantly from the past.
The transformation of chess in India is evident; however, experts contend
that further endeavors are required to ensure that Indian players assert
their dominance on the global stage. The sport necessitates more robust
support structures, as parents continue to shoulder the financial burden of
nurturing their children’s chess aspirations.

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