R Praggnanandhaa beats world champion Ding Liren, surpasses Viswanathan Anand to become India no.1

R Praggnanandhaa has newer records for the new year. The 18-year-old Indian Grandmaster beat World Champion Ding Liren on Wednesday in the Tata Steel Masters event, surpassing the great Vishwanathan Anand as India’s top-ranked chess player.

Praggnanandhaa defeated China’s Ding Liren, the current world champion, in the fourth round of the Tata Steel Masters competition, pushing the young player up the rankings.

Following the win, Praggnanandhaa now has 2748.3 points in the FIDE live ratings, compared to Anand’s 2748.

After his victory, Praggnanandhaa said, “I am extremely keen on ensuring that my country does well on the global stage. Whenever I play, my sole aim is to win more laurels for the nation.”

In the meantime, the only leader in the Masters Group going into the first rest day is the Dutchman Anish Giri. Giri defeated D Gukesh due to an outstanding endgame, securing his place at the top. GM Alireza Firouzja of Iran continues to trail Giri in second place.

The past few years have seen a significant advancement in Indian chess, led by Praggnanandhaa, the youngest-ever World Cup finalist and the youngest-ever Indian to qualify for the Candidates Tournament, following Viswanathan Anand.

At the age of ten, Praggnanandhaa made history in 2016 by becoming the youngest International Master. In February 2022, at the age of 16, he also made history by becoming the youngest player to defeat current world champion Magnus Carlsen. He went on to defeat him three times in six months.

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