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Tata Steel Masters Chess 2024: R Praggnanandhaa Beats World Champion Ding Liren, Upstages Viswanathan Anand As India Number 1

R Praggnanandhaa now has 2748.3 points in FIDE's live ratings, as against 2748 of Viswanathan Anand. The 18-year-old from Chennai had defeated Chinese world champion Ding Liren at at the Tata Steel Masters 2023 too

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R Praggnanandhaa is now the highest-ranked Indian chess player in the world Photo: File photo
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The blockbuster success story of R Praggnanandhaa continues. The 18-year-old Indian Grand Master is now officially the highest-ranked chess player in the country. Praggnanandhaa has surpassed the mighty Viswanathan Anand as the India number one after beating world champion Ding Liren in the fourth round of the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. (More Chess News)

With the momentous win, the teenager has 2748.3 points in world chess body FIDE's live ratings, as against 2748 of five-time world champion Anand. FIDE publishes the ratings at the start of every month.

Praggnanandhaa emerged victor with black pieces in 62 moves, and has become the second Indian after Anand to prevail over a reigning world champion in classical chess.

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This is Praggnanandhaa's second win over Liren at the Tata Steel Masters. The boy from Chennai had also defeated the Chinese GM at the 2023 tournament.

The Netherlands triumph follows a fabulous recent run for Praggnanandhaa, who was the runner-up in last year's World Cup to Magnus Carlsen and qualified for the prestigious Candidates tournament to be held in April 2024.

"That feels good!" Praggnanandhaa said after the victory. As for the tournament standings, Praggnanandhaa is now placed third with 2.5 points. Dutch GM Anish Giri has emerged as the sole leader in the Masters group, heading into the first rest day. Giri defeated teenaged Indian GM D Gukesh to move up to 3.5 points.

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The Iranian-French grand master Alireza Firouzja is half a point behind Giri, on three points. Meanwhile, the third Indian player in the competition, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi was held to a draw by Jorden Van Foreest in the fourth round. Vidit has two points from four rounds.

Praggnanandhaa will now take on Giri in the fifth round, while Gukesh and Vidit will face Ian Nepomniachtchi and Max Warmerdam respectively.

(With PTI inputs)

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