The resurgence of chess in India is attributed to 18-year-old GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, acknowledged by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech. Highlighting India’s success in the Asian Games and Asian Para Games, Sitharaman praised Praggnanandhaa for his formidable match against Magnus Carlsen in 2023.
The Finance Minister emphasized the remarkable growth of the Indian community, noting an increase from 20 to over 80 chess grandmasters since 2010. She celebrated Praggnanandhaa achievements, highlighting his historic feat as the youngest-ever World Cup finalist in 2023.
In a significant development for Indian chess, the country boasts a substantial representation in the 2024 Candidates tournament, with a notable presence of young talents. Coach and GM R.B. Ramesh expressed optimism about this, envisioning an Indian contender for the World title in the future. Notably, siblings Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali will participate in the Candidates tournament, marking a historic moment.
Despite his stellar 2023, Praggnanandhaa continues to excel, recently defeating four-time women’s world champion Wenjun Ju from China in the Tata Steel Masters’ ninth round. The young GM’s achievements and India’s growing presence in international chess tournaments reflect a promising future for the sport in the country.
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