For the first time in his career, Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa has become India's top-ranked men's chess player, going past veteran Viswanathan Anand. Praggnanandhaa achieved the milestone after beating China's Ding Liren, the current world champion, in the 4th round of the Tata Steel Masters tournament on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Dutchman Anish Giri emerge as the sole leader heading into the first rest day, as far as the Masters Group is concerned.
Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, also lauded Praggnanandhaa on becoming the new no.1 Indian chess player.
Earlier this month, Praggnanandhaa's career is a major boost with backing from the Adani Group, which is committed to supporting sportspersons as they go full throttle in their quest to bring glory to India. Speaking after meeting the young chess ace, Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani said, "We are extremely proud to support the dynamic Praggnanandhaa. The speed and efficiency with which he has progressed in the sport is nothing short of remarkable, and truly an example to all Indians. There is nothing more noble than representing the nation and winning laurels at the highest levels, and the Adani Group is wholeheartedly devoted to supporting athletes in this journey."
"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. I would like to thank the Adani Group for putting their trust in my abilities," said Praggnanandhaa.
In 2023, he became the world's youngest chess player to reach the World Cup final, and only the second Indian after Viswanathan Anand to achieve the feat. In 2022, the shy and soft-spoken teenager caused heads to turn in the world of chess by defeating Magnus Carlsen multiple times, shining the spotlight on India's progress. The Chennai-based Praggnanandhaa, who loves mathematics and unwinds by watching TV or listening to Tamil music, also won the silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2023.