Young Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa is on the cusp of greatness as he takes on world no. 1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the Chess World Cup final on Tuesday. The 18-year-old registered a stunning victory over world no. 3 Fabiano Caruana in the semi-final to become the youngest Indian to reach the final of the tournament. Praggnanandhaa’s father, Rameshbabu, is confident that his son can go all the way, having already defeated the Norwegian Grandmaster on multiple occasions in the past.
“Everyone of us is very happy. I haven’t really spoken to him yet. He has already beaten Carlsen multiple times so this will definitely help. He has been preparing, not just for this tournament,” Praggnanandhaa father Rameshbabu said during interacting with media.
This will be the 20th meeting between Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen, with the Indian leading 7:6 on head to head.
Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen had met earlier this year at the Masters, with the 67-move match ending in a tie.
For the record, Praggnanandhaa is the first Indian in 21 years to reach the Chess World Cup final since Viswanathan Anand, who won the tournament in 2000 and 2002.
Carlsen has occupied the world No. 1 rating for over 10 years, while Praggnanandhaa cracked the world top 30 for the first time during the ongoing tournament.
Earlier, Praggnanandhaa had orchestrated one of the biggest upsets of the FIDE World Cup after he eliminated American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura in the tiebreakers.