Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa Defeats Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen

After Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, 16, pulled off a surprising win in an elite speedy chess event from his laptop in India on Monday, there have been no fingers of fellow rivals to shake or snapping cameras to seize the second.

The person he had simply defeated, the world champion, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, was tending to the injuries of his stunning loss someplace offline.

And in Chennai, the place Praggnanandhaa lives, it was practically 3 a.m.

He texted his coach and woke his father to inform them in regards to the victory. Praggnanandhaa — often known as Pragg — had simply develop into the youngest particular person to defeat Carlsen, 31, since he turned world champion in 2013. Whereas his defeat of Carlsen, who has been struggling from the aftereffects of a Covid-19 an infection, doesn’t have an effect on the Worldwide Chess Federation world title, it nonetheless surprised the chess world and elated folks in India.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India congratulated “the younger genius” for his win on Twitter. “I want the gifted Praggnanandhaa the easiest for his future endeavours,” Mr. Modi wrote.

Sachin Tendulkar, a retired Indian cricket star thought-about to be one of many biggest gamers within the sport’s historical past, additionally congratulated Praggnanandhaa on Twitter and described his win as “magical.”

“You’ve made India proud!” Tendulkar stated.

Praggnanandhaa orchestrated his defeat over Carlsen in 39 strikes. It was all of the extra outstanding as a result of he was taking part in with the black items, transferring second, with the disadvantages that entails, notably in elite chess.

“He managed the sport, it felt, from begin to end, which is what Magnus does to folks,” stated Levy Rozman, a world grasp who recaps tournaments and discusses technique on his YouTube channel, GothamChess, which has greater than 1.4 million subscribers.

Carlsen, who was additionally a high participant as a teen, opened with the Queen’s Gambit, transferring his queen’s pawn to d4. Praggnanandhaa declined the gambit. (Replay the sport at Chess24.)

Within the early and center phases of the sport, Rozman stated, Carlsen performed a exact recreation, efficiently gaining a pawn, after which one other, placing him , however Praggnanandhaa compensated by holding the items he nonetheless had on the board energetic and swarming Carlsen’s king.

“He used what was remaining on the board to launch a devastating counterattack,” Rozman stated.

The sport turned definitively on the thirty second transfer, when Carlsen made a transfer along with his knight that was later seen as an error. The choice prompted David Howell, a British grandmaster and a commentator on the chess streaming platform Chess24, to ask, “Is that this intelligent, or is that this insanity?”

The reply was quickly clear. Praggnanandhaa quickened his tempo and Carlsen appeared visibly pissed off. Seven strikes and about 10 minutes later, it was over.

After Praggnanandhaa’s win, Kaja Snare, a commentator for Chess24, requested him how he would have fun.

“I feel it’s about simply going to mattress, as a result of I don’t assume I’ll have dinner at 2:30 within the morning,” Praggnanandhaa stated.

It had already been a outstanding night time for Praggnanandhaa. He additionally defeated Levon Aronian, the fourth-highest rated participant in historical past, initially of the competitors day.

Praggnanandhaa stated he had ready for the grueling event schedule by staying up late within the days main as much as it. “I’m nonetheless drained, but it surely’s high quality,” he advised Chess24.

His early success didn’t maintain by the competitors, nevertheless. Praggnanandhaa did not qualify for the Airthings Masters quarterfinals, which started on Wednesday and whittled the pool to eight gamers, from 16.

Carlsen stays within the competitors, which he stated had been more difficult due to lingering signs from a latest Covid-19 an infection.

“It’s been slightly bit higher as we speak,” Carlsen advised Chess24 on Monday, “however the first couple of days I used to be feeling like I’m OK, however I didn’t have the vitality, which made it onerous to focus as a result of each time I attempted to assume, I blundered.”

It was not the primary time Carlsen performed Praggnanandhaa, who turned the youngest ever worldwide grasp when he was 10 and have become a grandmaster at 12.

Carlsen defeated Praggnanandhaa in January, a month after Praggnanandhaa was invited by the worldwide federation to make the ceremonial first move in a world championship match between Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi, a Russian grandmaster. Carlsen received his fifth straight world championship in that event.

After Praggnanandhaa defeated Carlsen this week, he advised The Times of India that he had obtained congratulatory messages from around the globe, serving to him comprehend the importance of what he had completed.

“As a child selecting up the game, I had appeared as much as Magnus,” Praggnanandhaa stated. “I can all the time return to this recreation and search confidence at any time when I would like one sooner or later.”