India’s chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa scripted history by playing in the final of the FIDE Chess World Cup. At the mere age of 18, Praggnanandhaa became the youngest Indian to have taken part in a Chess World Cup final, where he eventually lost to World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen in a tie-breaker. After the young Grandmaster returned home, fans welcomed him and he also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Praggnanandhaa spoke about the experience of meeting PM Modi as to what they discussed during their get-together. During the meeting, it was not just chess that India’s PM and Praggnanadhaa talked while they also spoke about cricket. On being asked about his favourite player, Praggnanandhaa said it’s India’s veteran off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
“PM Modi made me very comfortable. He asked me about my training, my father’s job etc. I enjoyed interacting with him”.
“I practice yoga and meditation to improve concentration: Praggnanandhaa. Before a game, I prefer eating Indian food. It is something that I enjoy. Preferably home food so my mother cooks for me. Praggnanandhaa,” he said.
Praggnanandhaa’s mother was also there during his Chess World Cup stint in Baku.
“People who know me well can figure out my game position from my face. My mother can definitely figure it out”, Praggnanandhaa added.
“My mother’s support is very important for me. It is emotional support as well. My mother takes care of everything, family support is very important, I can’t express in words how important it is,” he said.
“I watch movies when I want to relax,” Praggnanandhaa further revealed.
Earlier, Praggnanandhaa defeated World No. 2 Hikaru Nakamura and World No 3 Fabiano Caruana on his way to the final. However, he lost in the tie-breaker of the Chess World Cup final. While the Norwegian chess grandmaster managed to seal a win in the first game of the Rapid Chess tie-breaker with black pieces, he then managed to hold on to a draw in the second game with white pieces.