Despite a lot of fighting, his dream was not fulfilled. Indian Grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa was defeated by World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a tiebreaker of the FIDE Chess World Cup 2023 final on Thursday. It was held for three days in Baku, Azerbaijan. Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, who turned 18 during the World Cup, created new history by becoming the runner-up of the Chess World Cup as the second Indian player. He is now the third-youngest chess player ever after the legendary Bobby Fischer and Carlsen to qualify for the Candidates Tournament.
The finals of the World Cup began on Tuesday. On the first two days, Carlsen and Praggnanandhaa fought very hard. But in the end, two classical rounds were drawn. As a result, Thursday's match was a tiebreaker. And there, Praggnanandhaa could not save the day. Indian Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa took 6 and a half minutes to make a move in the first rapid round, which made the difference in the 25-minute final tiebreaker. The two chess geniuses ended in a draw after 22 moves, and world number one Magnus Carlsen once again won by 2.5–1.5 points in the end.
Incidentally, Praggnanandhaa being the runner-up of the World Chess Championship at this age is a proud moment for India. Praggnanandhaa’s fight against the five-time world champion was truly remarkable. Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and India's former World Chess Champion, Viswanathan Anand, congratulated Praggnanandhaa after reaching the final from the semi-finals. The whole country is proud of Praggnanandhaa's success, even though he was the runner-up in the final.
In 2016, Praggnanandhaa became the youngest international master in history at age 10 and was earmarked by local chess officials as a future champion. He grew up with his sister, Vaishali Rameshbabu, who is also a local chess champion. Praggnanandhaa began playing the game at the age of three, with encouragement from his family, especially his mother. At the age of seven, he had earned the title of International Chess Federation master, the third highest title a chess player can achieve after the grandmaster and international master titles.