Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur honored R Praggnanandhaa and his parents on Friday as the International Chess Federation FIDE World Cup 2023 runner-up.
During the felicitation ceremony, Anurag Thakur said, “I congratulate him.” He has made India proud. At the age of 16, he accomplished what others could not. He inspires many young people to play chess. Chess originated in India, but it took hundreds of years for the country to host a Chess Olympiad, which it did successfully.”
Meanwhile, Praggnanandhaa expressed gratitude for the encouragement and stated that it pushes him to work more. “We are happy that we are getting this support, and it is also motivating us to work hard and perform well in the tournaments so that we can bring laurels to the country,” he told ANI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with the 18-year-old chess player on Thursday and complimented him on his outstanding performance at the World Cup.
After seeing Praggnanandhaa, PM Modi said on X (previously Twitter), “Had very special visitors at 7, LKM today.” I’m honored to have met you and your family, @rpragchess. You exemplify passion and perseverance. Your example demonstrates how Indian youth can conquer any domain. “I’m very proud of you!”
The Indian chess prodigy just won a silver medal in the Fide World Cup 2023 and qualified for the Candidates 2024. The 18-year-old wonderboy has long been seen as a possible successor to five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand and remains firmly on the path to chess fame.
He is the only Indian player to have qualified for the Candidates after Anand, and he had defeated Carlsen in an online competition last year.
Praggnanandhaa has been in the spotlight since he was a child. He established himself by winning the national under-7 title and has been on the rise ever since. He achieved an International Master at the age of ten and a GM two years later. At 14 years and three months, he attained an ELO rating of 2600 in 2019 and appeared to be in overdrive.