Proud moment for India…16-year-old R Praggnanandhaa defeats World no.1, Magnus Carlsen in Airthings Masters Chess

R Praggnanandhaa- a young grandmaster in India shocked the world no. 1, Magnus Carlsen, in the eighth round of the Airthings Masters. Airthings masters is an online rapid chess tournament and this years’ tournament favored the young brain R Praggnanandhaa. The 16-year-old won with black pieces in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation game early on Monday to halt Carlsen’s run of three straight wins. 

Pragg who won the competition used black pieces and he used it in 39 moves in a Tarrasch variation game early on February 21 to put an end to Carlsen’s run of three straight wins. Pragg’s victory came on the back of having struggled so far in the Airthings Masters, until their Round 8 clash, the youngest player in the field had only one win to his name, over GM Levon Aronian. With this win, Praggnanandhaa had just become the third Indian to beat Carlsen in tournament play – after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna. 

The Indian started the first day with a devastating note, losing three games in a row. Day 2 turned out to be a world apart. Within the space of a few hours, he had a win each against two top-10 players – Levon Aronian and Carlsen. Further, to overtake a player of Carlsen’s strength without the first-mover advantage of White deserves even more credit.

In the eighth round of the game, Magnus was seen sitting like he lost hope, with palms on his face, and finally ended up in a shocking reaction after Pragg won the game. Incredibly, just a few months ago, Pragg had a ceremonial first move for Carlson’s final challenger Ian Nepomniachi at the 2021 FIDE World Championships in Dubai. This win comes after the massive move by the Indian young grandmaster.

After the win, legendary batter, Sachin Tendulkar congratulated Praggnanandhaa and said, he has made India proud and wished him a “successful” chess career ahead. “What a wonderful feeling it must be for Pragg. All of 16, and to have beaten the experienced & decorated Magnus Carlsen, and that too while playing black, is magical! Best wishes on a long & successful chess career ahead. You’ve made India proud,” Tendulkar tweeted.

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R Praggnanandhaa

R Praggnanandhaa is the fifth-youngest person ever to achieve the title of Grandmaster (GM), behind Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karjakin, and many others. His chess championship career was not a new thing, as the young brain has already proved himself. He won the World Youth Chess Championships Under-8 title in 2013, earning him the title of FIDE Master at the age of 7. He also won the Under-10 title in 2015. 

The young brains’ opposition- Magnus Carlsen is a Norwegian chess Master Norwegian chess grandmaster who 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 was an undisputed emperor of chess, a bonafide GOAT, the marketing face of the game. It was Praggnanandhaa’s dream to defeat the world no.1 champion, Magnus Carlsen.