Using a total of 39 moves, 16-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa defeated Magnus Carlsen in a game of chess, ending his long reign as world champion.
Praggnanandhaa, who goes by Pragg, is a grandmaster from India and the youngest person to defeat Carlsen’s title streak from 2013, according to World Chess.
After the tournament, which featured 16 elite players, Pragg was glad he avoided a draw in the game against Carlsen and had a chance to improve his own play.
“I’m just really happy,” he said in an interview. “It’s about time to go to bed as I don’t think I will have dinner at 2:30 in the morning,” he said in a calm tone, sitting in Chennai, India.
“His results in the past six months has swung between extremes,” Praggnanandhaa’s coach, RB Ramesh, said on ESPN.
- “The fluctuation can be worrying and needs to be stabilised. This win against Magnus is important. Beating one of the strongest players in chess history is a huge moment for him.”
While Pragg is impressive, Carlsen’s poor play may be attributed to his recent COVID-19 infection before the tournament.
- “It’s been pretty bad. I played a couple of decent games, but the rest of them have been poor. I need to do a lot better than that,” Carlsen said, according to the International Chess Federation website.
- “It’s been a little bit better today,” Carlsen said Monday, “but the first couple of days I was feeling like I’m OK, but I didn’t have the energy, which made it hard to focus because every time I tried to think I blundered. It was a little bit better today, but still pretty bad.”