Chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa surpassed his idol Vishwanathan Anand to become India’s No.1 chess player. He was ranked No. 1 in FIDE’s live ratings for his new total of 2748.3, which is slightly above Anand’s 2748 score.
On Tuesday, the 18-year-old from Chennai became the second Indian to beat reigning world champion China’s Ding Liren at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands. By using the black pieces, he played a flawless game in the classical format. He had also previously defeated Ding last year on the same occasion to become No. 2. While achieving his present rank, he has become the only Indian after Anand to reach the final of the Chess World Cup.
With his sensational win, he entered the fourth round by ranking 2.5 points with one victory and three draws. Currently, he is behind Alireza Firouzja (3 points) from France and Anish Giri (3.5) from the Netherlands.
Praggnanandhaa’s ranking comes months after his impressive performance in the 2023 FIDE World Cup, where he finished runner-up. Although he lost to renowned player Magnus Carlsen, he caught everyone’s attention with his valiant efforts in Baku.