‘Gives me huge confidence’: 16-year old Praggnanandhaa on win against Magnus Carlsen

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Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, 16-year old chess player from India who defeated Magnus Carlsen. Photo Twitter @rpragchess

Chennai : R. Praggnanandhaa on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, said that the win against the world champion Magnus Carlsen will give him “huge confidence”.

The 16-year-old Praggnanandhaa defeated world number one chess player, Magnus Carlsen, on Monday in the eighth round of the ongoing Airthings Masters – an online rapid chess competition. “It was very hard because the game starts early morning at 3 am. I prepared for it every day by changing my routine to the tournament’s schedule. I think it really worked out,” Praggnanandhaa told ANI.

“Yeah, I was also working hard in chess terms also. I was happy in general to win. It gives me huge confidence,” he added.

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“I am very happy to see so much support, really motivates me to work much harder and play better,” the Indian Grand Master said.

Ramesh Babu, father of Praggnanandhaa said: “I was very happy with the result. I was sleeping at that time….. Praggnanandhaa came and told me he won against Carlsen.”

“Beating the world number one is not easy. This is only the beginning, he has to do many things in this field,” he added.

Carlsen had racked up three wins in a row as he ominously cranked up the gears. But against the 16-year-old Praggnanandhaa, he blundered badly, and the Indian star held firm for the win.

It was Praggnanandhaa’s first win in any form of chess against the Norwegian and came on the back of having lost three games in a row.

Vaishali Rameshbabu, sister of Praggnanandhaa, who is a Woman Grand Master was also delighted and said: “We all are very happy about this. He is just 16-year-old and only the third Indian to defeat Carlsen. It’s not easy because he has played many games online. It’s always a challenge and he always gets excited to play against him (Carlsen).”

“In the last month, he got to play over the board with him. It was a nice experience and now he has defeated him (Carlsen). Next time he will get the chance to play over the board tournament with him… he will have good chances and he will be more confident.”

Notably, the teenager is just the third Indian, after Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna, to accomplish the rare feat of beating Carlsen.

Talking about the technical aspect of the game against the world number one chess player, Vaishali said: “He is a world champion with a lot of experience. Even if he makes one mistake, you have to capitalise against him and he will not give one more chance again. Prag didn’t miss that chance.”

“He worked very hard and changed his sleeping schedule for this tournament. He really deserves this win,” she added.

After that win against world number one, the 16-year-old R. Praggnanandhaa registered two more victories against Andrey Esipenko and Alexandra Kosteniuk in rounds 10 and 12 on Tuesday of the ongoing Airthings Masters.

The Indian also drew against Nodirbek Abdusattorov and lost to Russian Grand Master Ian Nepomniachtchi in the 11th round. After all these results, the Indian Grandmaster is in 12th place with 15 points.

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