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R Praggnanandhaa

R Praggnanandhaa becomes India No. 1 in live ratings after beating world champion Ding Liren at Tata Steel Masters.

The victory also helped R Praggnanandhaa surpass the legendary Viswanathan Anand as the highest-ranked Indian player.

Indian chess superstar R Praggnanandhaa defeated China’s world champion Ding Liren in the fourth round of the Tata Steel Chess Championship in Wijk Aan Zee (Netherlands), a victory that also helped him surpass Viswanathan Anand as the highest-ranked Indian player. After the victory on Tuesday evening, Praggnanandhaa, 18, has 2748.3 points compared to 2748 for five-time world champion Anand in the live FIDE rankings. The World Chess Federation publishes the rankings at the beginning of each month. With this victory in 62 black moves, Praggnanandhaa became the second Indian after Anand to defeat the reigning world champion in classical chess.

Praggnanandhaa has also won Liren in the Tata Steel 2023 competition.

“It feels good!” Praggnanandhaa said after the victory. He is currently third in the standings with 2.5 points in the

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Masters program. The young Indian GM has been in good form of late, having finished second in the World Cup behind Magnus Carlsen last year to qualify for the Candidates Tournament which will take place in April to determine the challenger Liren.

The Masters team saw Dutchman Anish Giri as the sole leader going into the first day off. Giri’s strong play eventually saw her win against Indian teenager GM D Gukesh to take her to 3.5.

Alireza Firouzja is half a point behind the leader with three points. The third Indian player in the fight, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi was caught by Jorden Van Foreest in the fourth round. He has 2 points and 4 goals. In the fifth round on Thursday, Praggnanandhaa will face leader Anish Giri while his teammates Gukesh and Gujrathi will face Ian Nepomniachtchi and Max Warmerdam respectively.

Read Also: Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali become the first-ever brother-sister duo to be grandmasters.

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February 2024