The Remarkable Journey of India’s Youngest Chess Grandmaster

India has produced many great chess players over the years, but none have achieved as much as the country’s youngest chess grandmaster, R Praggnanandhaa. Born on August 10, 2005, in Chennai, India, Praggnanandhaa began playing chess at the age of three and quickly showed an aptitude for the game. By the time he was six years old, he was already competing in tournaments and winning.

youngest chess grandmaster, R Praggnanandhaa

Praggnanandhaa’s talent and hard work paid off when he became the youngest International Master (IM) in the world in 2016 at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days. He broke the previous record held by Sergey Karjakin, who became an IM at the age of 11 years, 0 months, and 11 days. Praggnanandhaa’s achievement made him a sensation in the chess world, and many began to predict that he would become the youngest grandmaster in history.

Achieving the Grandmaster Title

Indian boy becomes world's second-youngest chess grandmaster
Grandmaster (GM)2018
International Master (IM)2016
FIDE Master (FM)2013
World Rank (Active)47

Praggnanandhaa’s journey to the grandmaster title was not an easy one. He had to compete in several tough tournaments and perform consistently at a high level to earn the necessary points to qualify for the title. The road was long and challenging, but Praggnanandhaa never gave up, and his dedication and hard work paid off.

In 2018, at the age of 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days, Praggnanandhaa achieved the grandmaster title, becoming the second-youngest person to ever do so. The record for the youngest grandmaster still belongs to Sergey Karjakin, who achieved the title at the age of 12 years and 7 months.

To achieve the grandmaster title, a player must meet certain criteria set by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). They must achieve a minimum rating of 2500 in at least 27 games played against other grandmasters. They must also earn three “norms,” which are earned by achieving a certain score in a tournament against a specific number of other grandmasters.

Praggnanandhaa achieved his first grandmaster norm in 2017 at the World Junior Chess Championship, where he finished second. He achieved his second norm in the 4th Gibraltar Masters in 2018, where he finished third. He earned his third and final norm at the Gredine Open in Italy, where he finished second.

Also Read : How to Be a Chess Grandmaster :The Highest Title in Chess

Praggnanandhaa’s Achievements

Praggnanandhaa’s achievements at such a young age are truly remarkable. In addition to becoming the youngest IM and second-youngest grandmaster in history, he has won numerous tournaments and awards. Here are just a few of his notable accomplishments:

  • In 2016, he won the Under-8 National Championship in India.
  • In 2017, he won the Under-12 World Championship.
  • In 2018, he won the Under-18 National Championship in India.
  • In 2019, he won the Prague Chess Festival Masters.
  • In 2021, he won the Balaton Chess Festival in Hungary.

Praggnanandhaa showcased his exceptional skills at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2022, competing in the Masters section. He achieved notable victories against strong players such as Andrey Esipenko, Vidit Gujrathi, and Nils Grandelius. He secured the 12th place in the tournament.

In February 2022, Praggnanandhaa became the third Indian player to defeat World Champion Magnus Carlsen in any time format at Champions Chess Tour 2022. He continued his success against Carlsen in the Chessable Masters online rapid chess tournament in May 2022. He defeated Carlsen for the second time in three months and advanced to the tournament finals. Demonstrating his remarkable abilities once again, Praggnanandhaa outplayed Carlsen three times in the FTX Crypto Cup 2022, ultimately finishing second in the overall standings.

Praggnanandhaa (@rpragchess) / Twitter

In January 2023, Praggnanandhaa participated in the Tata Steel Chess Masters 2023. He achieved a significant milestone by defeating Ding Liren, a 2800-rated grandmaster, for the first time in a classical game. Despite facing strong competition, Praggnanandhaa finished the tournament in 9th place.

Praggnanandhaa has also been a member of the Indian national chess team and has represented his country in several international tournaments. He has been praised by chess experts for his aggressive and creative style of play, as well as his ability to adapt to different opponents and game situations.

Also Read : Indian Chess Prodigy Praggnanandhaa’s Next Challenge After Beating Carlsen

Praggnanandhaa’s Future

Praggnanandhaa (@rpragchess) / Twitter

At just 17 years old, Praggnanandhaa has already achieved more in chess than most players will in a lifetime. His talent and dedication have made him one of the most promising young players in the world, and he is sure to have a bright future in the game.

Many experts predict that Praggnanandhaa could eventually become a world champion, and he has already been compared to some of the greatest chess players in history, such as Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov. However, Praggnanandhaa remains humble and focused on improving his game, and he knows that he still has a lot to learn.

In the coming years, Praggnanandhaa will continue to compete in tournaments and work on his game, and he will undoubtedly be a player to watch in the world of chess. His achievements have inspired a new generation of young chess players in India and around the world, and he has proven that age is no barrier to success in the game of chess.


R Praggnanandhaa is the youngest chess grandmaster in India and one of the most promising young players in the world. His talent and dedication have led him to achieve remarkable success at a young age, and he is sure to have a bright future in the game of chess. His achievements have inspired a new generation of young chess players, and he has shown that anything is possible with hard work and determination.

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