Indian Chess Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa R Reaches FIDE World Cup Finals

Indian chess grandmaster Praggnanandhaa R has made history by becoming the youngest ever chess player to reach the finals of the FIDE World Cup 2023. The 18-year-old prodigy defeated American-Italian Fabiano Caruana in the semifinal of the event held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Prag, as he is fondly known, will now face Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen in the final.

Prag’s father, Mr Rameshbabu, expressed his delight and pride in his son’s iconic triumph. He mentioned that they are absolutely elated with the win and that reaching the very top requires overcoming multiple obstacles, which makes their delight even more significant. This achievement brings an end to India’s prolonged wait for a finalist after the legendary Viswanathan Anand’s exploits decades ago.

Prag’s journey to the final was not easy, as he had to outplay both World Number 2, Hikaru Nakamura, and World Number 3, Caruana. In the fourth round, Prag beat Nakamura in an entertaining encounter that ended 3-1 in his favor. He then outplayed Caruana in the semifinals.

Despite being away from his family during the tournament in Baku, Prag maintains a daily telephonic conversation with his father. Mr Rameshbabu mentioned that they speak over the phone every day, and Prag’s mother is accompanying him on tour. He added that he does not interfere with Prag’s game but asks about his daily routine and if he has been eating properly. The role of his coach is to suggest strategies and moves in the game.

When asked about how Prag deals with nerves ahead of big games and monumental occasions, Mr Rameshbabu stated that Prag doesn’t get nervous or scared. He believes that Prag’s awareness of the magnitude of his circumstances and achievement, coupled with his experience in the game since a young age, allows him to play without duress of the final result. Prag’s composed demeanor has been his strength in handling such pressure-filled situations.

Mr Rameshbabu firmly believes that inspiration and passion for the game should come from within and cannot be forced onto someone. He mentioned that, especially in a game related to the mind like chess, the interest has to come from within and can’t be imposed on anyone.

Tags: Indian Chess, Praggnanandhaa R, FIDE World Cup, Chess Finals, Prodigious Talent

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