Chennai's R Praggnanandhaa, 12, Becomes Second Youngest Chess Grandmaster :

Twelve years and ten months old, R Praggnanandhaa made history by becoming the youngest Indian Grandmaster and the second youngest overall by earning his third GM norm during the Gredine Open in Italy. After 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. He is placed joint-top on the table at the end of 8 rounds, with 6.5 points. To become a GM you need 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.

He missed out on becoming the youngest ever by three months with Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine holding the record of being the youngest Grandmaster in the world at 12 years, 7 months - a feat achieved in 2002. Incidentally, the fourth spot in youngest Grandmasters is also held by an Indian - Parimarjan Negi at 13 years, 4 months and 22 days.

Legendary Viswanathan Anand lauded Praggnanandhaa's feat and picked him out as a bright hope for the future. "What impresses me about Praggnanandhaa is that he's not just a strong player but mixes imaginative middle game play with patient endgame skills and is uncompromising in not settling for easy, quick draws," Anand was quoted. "He's also shown a level of sophistication in handling tournament games. I think he will go far".

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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