All of 12 years and 10 months old, R Praggnanandhaa made history by becoming the youngest Indian Grandmaster in history and the second youngest overall by earning his third GM norm during the Gredine Open in Italy.
After being paired with Dutch GM Roeland Pruijssers for the final round, Praggnanandhaa was assured of a third norm irrespective of the result of the match. He is placed joint-top on the table at the end of 8 rounds, with 6.5 points.
To become a GM you need to earn three norms and a 2500 rating. He had won his first GM norm at the World Junior Championships in Tarvisio in November 2017. He achieved his second norm by winning the Herkalion Fischer Memorial GM Norm tournament in Greece in April this year.
Praggnanandhaa’s coach at Chess Gurukul in Chennai, RB Ramesh, said he was delighted with his ward’s achievement. “I am happy and relieved because he was getting close and missing narrowly on a few occasions,” he told The Field.
Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine holds the record for being the youngest GM at 12 years and seven months. He achieved that in 2002. For context, Magnus Carlsen became a GM when he was 13 yrs, 4 months old, while Viswanathan Anand, India’s first ever GM, was 18 years old when he earned his third norm.
In 2016, Praggnanandhaa became the youngest International Master at 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days.
Here’s a look at the list of youngest grandmasters in history.
1. Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine) 12 years, 7 months
2. R Praggnandhaa (India) 12 years, 10 months
3. Nodirbek Abdusattorov Uzbekistan 13 years, 1 month
4. Parimarjan Negi India 13 years, 4 months
5. Magnus Carlsen Norway 13 years, 4 months
Read more: The story of Chess Gurukul, a nursery for India’s brightest talent.
(With inputs from Chessbase.com)