Sixteen-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa stunned world champion Magnus Carlsen for the second time three months at the Chessable Masters online rapid chess tournament.
The Indian Grandmaster made the most of Carlsen’s one-move blunder to keep his chances of progressing to the knockout stages alive.
Praggnanandhaa is the sibling of Vaishali Rameshbabu, another top Indian chess star. He is the fifth-youngest person to achieve the Grandmaster title after Abhimanyu Mishra, Gukesh D, Sergey Karjakin, and Javokhir Sindarovt.
The match was headed for a dull draw after the teenage sensation’s 40th move. However, in a stunning twist, Carlsen misplayed his knight on his previous move, allowing Praggnanadhaa to check with an attack on his black piece.
The Indian star later revealed in an interview to Chess24 that he was also taking school exams during the event. “I’m not so thrilled about my game quality. I’m missing some stuff, some tricks, and some tactics so I need to be sharper,” he said.
The victory takes the 16-year-old to seventh place on the leaderboard with 18 points. Carlsen is in second place with 23 points, while The Netherlands’ Anish Giri is on top with 24 at the end of Day 3. The top eight will head to the knockout round.
Praggnanadhaa’s second victory over Carlsen comes three months after the Airthings Masters, where the youngster beat the World No 1 in the eighth round of the online rapid chess tournament. Indian chess legend Vishwanathan Anand, cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, and other prominent sporting figures congratulated the teenager following his victory.
The third Chessable Masters began on Thursday. Mishra, the youngest Grandmaster in history, is also taking part in the 16-man tournament. The eight-day tournament has a prize poll of up to $150,000 and two qualifying spots for the Tour Major. The finals will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. It is the fourth leg of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour with the overall Tour winner being crowned the world’s best online chess player in November.