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  5. EXCLUSIVE | 'Huge thing for my confidence': R Praggnanandhaa on beating top-ranked players in Chess World Cup

EXCLUSIVE | 'Huge thing for my confidence': R Praggnanandhaa on beating top-ranked players in Chess World Cup

Indian Prodigy R Praggnanandhaa interacts with India TV after his memorable outing in the FIDE Chess World Cup 2023. The Indian Grandmaster took some big positives from the tournament.

Written By: Varun Malik New Delhi Updated on: August 25, 2023 12:55 IST
R Praggnanandhaa, Chess World Cup 2023
Image Source : TWITTER R Praggnanandhaa

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa has become the talk of the town as the Indian Prodigy surprised numerous fans around the world in the FIDE Chess World Cup 2023. The 18-year-old Grandmaster emerged as the runner-up of the Chess World Cup and became only the second Indian to qualify for the prestigious Candidates tournament. Star Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa had about a month-long battle with some of the finest brains in the Chess arena and has now reflected on the tough competitors he faced in the tournament.

The Indian star faced the giant Magnus Carlsen in the summit clash and took the game into a tie-breaker before falling short on the final hurdle. On his way to the final, the 18-year-old defeated world No.2 Hikaru Nakamura and world No.3 Fabiano Caruana as he stunned the fans. Now in an exclusive chat with India TV, Praggnanandhaa reflects on his journey, citing that he is happy to reach the final of the tournament. "It feels really good to be in the finals. The main thing is to qualify for the candidates and I did that. So overall it was a good experience for me here. This was my second World Cup, I got knocked out in round four last time and I am very happy that I managed to make it to the finals this time," Praggnanandhaa said in a chat with India TV's Executive Editor Samip Rajguru. 

On being asked what these special victories over some Chess giants mean to him, Praggnanandhaa stated that the wins are a huge boost to his confidence. "Of Course, it's a huge thing for my confidence. They (Caruana and Nakamura) are the best in the world. It felt really good to beat them. It definitely boosts my confidence," he added. 

Praggnanandhaa on his strategy for final against Carlsen

The Indian star became the only Indian from his country to reach the final of the World Cup after the Legendary Viswanathan Anand. He pushed Carlsen into a tie-breaker after playing two draws in the first two games. Praggnanandhaa was asked about strategy in the final and also about the showdown clash. "(On his strategy) No nothing much, just trying to rest before the matches because we already played for four weeks. I just tried to give my best and see how it goes, pretty sure it goes well. I just wanted to give my best, (there was) no particular strategy.

"Carlsen is the best player in rapid and blitz. He is the best player in any format. I felt I could get some chances today (in a tie-breaker). I think I got one in the first game but I could not take advantage.  

Praggnanandhaa looks to win the Candidates

Meanwhile, Praggnanandhaa does not want to sit back after the accomplishments of the World Cup. Instead, he is looking forward to the upcoming tournaments, including the Candidates. I try to keep improving myself. There are lots of tournaments coming in the next two-three months. There is a Candidates tournament also lined up. I am trying to be in the best shape for the Candidates and try to win it.

The 18-year-old has learnt a lot in his Chess career from legendary Anand. He reflected on Anand's contribution to him. "He (Vishy Anand) is a huge inspiration. Not only for me but for all the Indians. I am very happy that I am in touch with Anand sir. It's a huge moment for me. (I am) learning a lot from him and in his academy," he said.

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