NEWS: A 16-year-old Indian teenager beats world chess champion Carlsen.

February 23, 2022, 11:52 am

Indi­an teenage chess grand­mas­ter Ramesh­babu Prag­gnanand­haa has received praise for his stun­ning vic­to­ry over world num­ber one Mag­nus Carlsen in an online championship.

Prag­gnanand­haa, 16, who in 2016 became the youngest inter­na­tion­al mas­ter in his­to­ry at age 10, beat Carlsen late Mon­day in the Airthings Mas­ters Rapid Chess Tournament.

“It’s time to go to bed because I don’t think I’ll have din­ner at 2:30 a.m.,” a vis­i­bly calm Prag­gnanand­haa said after the 39-move vic­to­ry over black.

Oth­ers have beat­en Carlsen — includ­ing Indi­a’s Viswanathan Anand and Pen­ta­la Harikr­ish­na — but Prag­gnanand­haa is the youngest since the Nor­we­gian became world cham­pi­on in 2013.

Anand, a five-time world cham­pi­on and hailed as the great­est chess play­er India has pro­duced, tweet­ed, “Always proud of our tal­ents! Very good day for @rpragchess.

Indi­an crick­et super­star Sachin Ten­dulkar also joined in the praise for Chen­nai-born Prag­gnanand­haa, wide­ly con­sid­ered a future chal­lenger for the world title.

“What a won­der­ful feel­ing this must be for Pragg. All 16 of them, and to have beat­en the expe­ri­enced and dec­o­rat­ed Mag­nus Carlsen, and that too while play­ing with blacks, is mag­ic!” wrote Ten­dulkar on Twitter.

“Best wish­es for a long and suc­cess­ful chess career. You have made India proud!

Carlsen, 31, appeared to make a mis­take at the Melt­wa­ter Cham­pi­ons Chess Tour event for a total prize pool of over $1.5 million.

On Mon­day, Carlsen had said he was still feel­ing the after­math of a recent coro­n­avirus infection.

“It was bet­ter today, but the first few days I felt good, but I did­n’t have any ener­gy and it was a lit­tle hard to con­cen­trate,” Carlsen said.

Carlsen won his fifth con­sec­u­tive world chess title in Decem­ber, beat­ing Ian Nepom­ni­achtchi in a con­test that saw the Russ­ian lose his nerve after los­ing an epic eight-hour game, the longest ever played at a world championship.

The teenager’s vic­to­ry fol­lows a dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance in the tour­na­ment so far where his pre­vi­ous win came in the eighth round against grand­mas­ter Lev­on Aronian.

“His results in the last six months have fluc­tu­at­ed between the extremes,” Prag­gnanand­haa’s coach RB Ramesh was quot­ed as say­ing on ESPN.

“The fluc­tu­a­tion can be wor­ri­some and needs to be sta­bi­lized. This win against Mag­nus is impor­tant. Beat­ing one of the strongest play­ers in chess his­to­ry is a big moment for him.

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