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Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa seizes his second Grandmaster norm, one step away from becoming a Grandmaster

  • Winning the 2nd GM norm takes Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa closer to the ultimate dream of becoming the youngest Grandmaster ever
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 15:37 IST

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Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa in full concentration (Image courtesy- ChessBase)

What’s the story?

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa won his final round-robin match against Markidis Konstantinos of Greece to claim is 2nd Grandmaster norm at the recently concluded 4th Heraklion "Fischer Memorial" Grandmaster norm tournament.

In case you didn’t know…

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa is extremely popular in India for being the youngest International Master in history. He achieved the feat when he was just 10 years, 10 months old. The young boy from Chennai has enjoyed a highly decorated career, being the winner of Under World Youth Chess Championship of Under-8 boys in 2013, and Under-10 boys in 2015.chess prodigy. He has an innate ability to play chess as does his elder sister, R. Vaishali wh

Praggnanandhaa, now 12, is an international o is herself the winner of the Girls U-12s and U-14s World Youth Chess Championship.

The heart of the matter

To seize a title of a Grandmaster from the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) or simply the World Chess Federation, several Grandmaster norms are required.

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa recently took part in the 4th Heraklion "Fischer Memorial" Grandmaster norm tournament. The round-robin event took place in Heraklion, Crete, Greece from 9th-17th April 2018. Anand Nadar of India also took part alongside Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa. Anand finished third, one place behind Greece GM Nikolaidis Loannis. Anand had a score of 5 and a half out of 9, with an ELO rating of 2359.

R. Praggnanandhaa could have attained the Grandmaster title in November itself when he competed at the World Junior Chess Championship in Tarvisio, Italy which took place in November last year. However, Praggnanandhaa competes with players in the U-20s category.

This got him a GM norm but not the title of a Grandmaster. He used to flounder every time he came close to making a GM norm until November 2017. His initial GM norm certainly boosted his confidence and he showed tremendous faith in clinching his 2nd GM norm.

Defeating American GM Awonder Liang in November last year won him his first Grandmaster norm. He replaced the Russian Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin as he achieved the feat and became the youngest to win a GM norm. He did it in style too, with a round to spare as he had a rating performance of 2749. To make a GM norm, one needs a performance of 2600 and he was way past this mark when he achieved this feat.

This time around, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa completely nailed the 2nd grandmaster norm title with a score of 7/9 taking his ELO rating to 2520. His next aim is to win the 3rd Grandmaster norm so that he can be officially called Grandmaster.


What’s next?

This win must have boosted Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa's confidence and he will look to win his 3rd grandmaster norm as soon as he gets the opportunity.

Author’s take

The recent wins must have given a much-needed boost of self-confidence and that day is not far when he becomes a Grandmaster. His quest is to become the youngest Grandmaster ever is taking shape well and his exploits have been commendable so far. Is he the next Vishwanathan Anand, I certainly think he is en route to become one. Who knows he might even take it up a notch.

Published 18 Apr 2018, 14:32 IST
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