From the very origin of our beautiful game to the current global online chess phenomenon, India has contributed significantly to the world of chess. Historical records show that the 8×8 chessboard dates from the days of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Board games are also described in early Buddhist literature as well as Chinese works.
Chess has risen in popularity in India in the last few decades primarily due to chess Grandmaster and former 5-time World Champion ViswanathanAnand. It is believed that chess originated from Chaturanga of ancient India. The All India Chess Federation is the governing body for chess in India.
Off lately if we talk off, we can see a new dawn in Indian Chess altogether.
And with the emerging starts like Praggnanandhaa, Pranav, Ilamprathi taking forward the mantle of the game in the country, it was only apt that we spoke to the five-time world champion and Grandmaster VishwanathanAnand about the upcoming generation of players.
Widely regarded as one of the best chess players of the world and responsible for popularising the game in India, VishanathanAnand in an exclusive chat with the Daily Guardian spoke about the new crop of players and their performance in the ongoing Julius Baer Cup in New York.
Talking about the current performance of Erigaisi and Praggnanandhaa, the Legend said, “These are very good starts for both Erigaisi and Praggnanandhaa in the tour event. Both have won multiple games. Arjun has managed 6 out of his last 7 games and Pragnanandhaa is five and a half. So, occupying the top two positions currently and I hope that their good performance continues but it confirms watching their consistency over a period of time, they are strong performers.”
He also praised the current U 16 title winner who dominated at the Youth World Chess Championship “Excellent result by Pranav Anand, he made a grandmaster norm at the recently held World Youth Championships. He crossed the rating mark. I am very happy that he is now India’s 76th grandmaster. He is very talented and one can see this and he is one of players whose results and success, i think, has been delayed by the wrath of pandemic. So, it must be a welcome and a morale booster for him as well to clinch this title and I hope he goes on to attain many great things!!”
India dominated at the Youth World Chess Champion as after Pranav Anand secured the U16 title. AR Ilamparthi became the Under-14 World Champion. The Indian chess player scored 9½/11, gaining 114.4 rating points on his way to the title. The top-seeded Anand, who recently became the country’s 76th Grandmaster, scored nine points from 11 rounds to emerge clear winner.
India’s Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi jumped to the top position with 17 points after eight rounds, while his compatriot R Praggnanandhaa held second place with 15 points at the Julius Baer Cup. Adding on to the victory, Praggnanandhaa-Magnus Carlsen clash in round eight ended in a draw. The Indian had beaten the Norwegian ace twice earlier this season in online matches.
After the conclusion of the second day of preliminary matches early on Tuesday, Erigaisi is two points clear of Praggnanandhaa and world champion Carlsen (15 points).
Erigaisi started the day with a win over Hans Niemann (USA) and went on to beat LevonAronian.