R Praggnanandhaa surpasses Viswanathan Anand to become India No. 1 after beating World Champion Ding Liren

R Praggnanandhaa surpassed Viswanathan Anand to become India's number 1 chess player after defeating defending world champion Ding Liren.

Mathew K
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R Praggnanandhaa and Viswanathan Anand (File Photo: X)

R Praggnanandhaa and Viswanathan Anand (File Photo: X)

Young Indian Chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa stunned everyone with his sensational performance in the recently concluded Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee in the Netherlands. Indian teenager defeated the defending World Champion Ding Liren in the final of the Tata Steel Masters on Tuesday, January 2024.

Meanwhile, the 18-year-old also scripted history as he surpassed none other than his idol and the veteran Indian chess master Viswanathan Anand to become India’s No. 1 ranked in live classical chess rankings.

Speaking of overall world rankings, Praggnanandhaa gained a benefit of two spots and moved to the 11th spot, having 2748.3 rating points, which is 0.3 higher than his idol former India no. 1 Viswanathan Anand. Apart from that, the teenager has also become only the second Indian just after Viswanathan Anand to beat a defending champion in classical chess.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar congratulates R Praggnanandhaa

In the same line of events, former legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar also took to his official X handle (formerly Twitter) to extend congratulatory wishes for the young chess prodigy of India.

“Big cheers to R Praggnanandhaa for this remarkable triumph against World Champion, Ding Liren. At the young age of 18, you haven’t just dominated the game but also risen to become India's top-rated player. Best wishes for your upcoming challenges. Continue to bring glory to India on the international stage in chess,” wrote Sachin in his X-Post.

Here’s a look at Sachin Tendulkar’s X-post:

Besides Tendulkar, the Sports Minister of India, Anurag Thakur also congratulated R Praggnanandhaa for the latter’s historic achievement of becoming India’s top chess player.

“Board brilliance at its finest! R Praggnanandhaa checkmates the World Champion, claiming the title of India's top-ranked chess player. Cheers to chess maestro Praggnanandhaa on this grandmaster win!” wrote Anurag Thakur in his X-post.

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