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New Indian stars swept the Chess World Cup. The Russians are falling behind

Date: July 19, 2024 Time: 02:41:19

The 2023 World Cup in Baku ended with a brilliant victory for world chess leader Magnus Carlsen, who conquered another chess pinnacle: he is yet to win in these super tournaments according to the knockout system. But while the Norwegian enjoys the unofficial title of tournament champion, one of the main contenders for the new championship, the American Fabiano Caruana, celebrates qualifying for the Candidates Tournament, and the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi repairs holes and prepares for Una. new fight in the Candidates competition, something new has happened in the world of chess, which is impossible to ignore.

A powerful young generation of Indian prodigies has entered the arena, striving for leadership positions in world chess. Four representatives of the country that originated the game in 64 cells reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup: Gukesh Dommaraju, who is already ranked in the top ten strongest, Rameshbabu Pragnanandha, whose brilliant game and second place in the Cup The World Cup allowed the youngster to reach No. 20 in the world in terms of rating and (most importantly) in the Candidates Tournament, as well as the older Santosh Vidit (No. 23 in the world) and Arjun Erigaisi (No. 32 in the world). ).

The powerful play of Carlsen, Caruana and the sensation of the tournament, the owner of the field, Nijat Abasov, somewhat reduced the lineup of Indian players in the World Cup: only Pragnanandha reached the final, but the success of the eastern players remains . without a doubt! It seems that in the very near future the young leaders of India will intervene in the fight on Olympus. Especially impressive are the results of Dommaraju, 17, and Pragnanandha, a year older. Who are these guys and where do they come from?

He took advantage of Karjakin’s record and became a star.

Gukesh Dommaraju was born on May 29, 2006 in Chennai, India. The boy was born into a family of doctors: his father is an otolaryngologist and his mother is a microbiologist. He learned to play chess relatively late, at the age of seven; he was an elective in school. Nothing yet suggested that he is one of the most promising geeks of our time.

The extracurricular activity soon became a passion. In just a few years, Gukesh consistently became the winner of the Asian Championship, and then the World Championship. He completed all the points of the international master and then the grandmaster at the age of 12 years, 7 months and 17 days, just 17 days less than Sergey Karyakin’s previous achievement.

Who took the disk from Karjakin?

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Dommaraju had chances to break the record, but failed to complete the third goal at the tournament in Sitges, Spain. However, in an interview, the young chess player, with incredible discretion for his age, said that since Magnus Carlsen is not the youngest grandmaster ever and at the same time became the best tournament and match fighter, then! Alright!

Now, taking Abhimanyu Mishra’s record into account, Gukesh Dommaraju is the third youngest chess grandmaster.

The boy’s father gave up the practice of medicine and concentrated all his efforts on his son’s career. The mother continued to work, but in the family she was responsible for the physical training of the young talent, playing badminton with the boy for hours.

Gukesh was financially supported by his Velammal Vidyalaya chess school, which was also provided by his professional sports director. The young chess player noticed that from a very young age he used a laptop: he always carefully prepared the games and analyzed the creativity of his opponents. For many years the young grandmaster Vishnu Prassana worked with the rising star. Gukesh himself noted that the mentor not only showed him strong moves, but also taught him to be calm, self-possessed and take hits after defeats.

In general, psychology is the main trump card of Indian chess players. For example, Vidit himself meditated before the games with Ian Nepomniachtchi, while a very bright and talented, but easily excitable Russian hid backstage in the bathroom. And the victory went to the calmer Santosh!

In 2019, after winning the title, Dommaraju became one of the most famous young figures in the world, but already in 2020 a pandemic begins: the rising star had to play a lot on the Internet. The young Indian won the Gelfand Challenge, in which the best young talents of the time battled for victory, and he excelled more than once in online tournaments.

Having accumulated strength and knowledge and waiting for the moment when the chess players had a chance to return to the board, Dommaraju quickly rose through the ranks, first conquering the 2600 mark, and then 2700.

Gukesh Dommaraju

Photo: fide.com

At the 2022 Olympics, Gukesh Dommaraju became a real sensation – speaking for India’s second youth team, he started the tournament with a score of 8 out of 8! India-2 beat the favorites of the United States, and as a result, in the qualification, they surpassed both the main Indian team and many giants, finishing with bronze medals.

Also in 2022, at one of the tournaments (Aimchess Rapid) of the stellar rapid series on the Internet, held at the initiative of Magnus Carlsen, the Indian grandmaster managed to beat the world champion – Gukesh turned out to be the youngest chess player. who managed to defeat the title holder, although this occurred with a quick control.

Dommaraju regularly participates in the strongest super tournaments of our time; for example, in Dusseldorf 2023 he shared 1-3 places with Ian Nepomniachtchi and Levon Aronian, he finished second in the tie-break, leaving Aronian ahead, but beating Nepomniachtchi.

He faced polio and reached the World Cup final.

Rameshbabu Pragnanandha was also born in Chennai, India, but a little earlier, on August 10, 2005. The city experienced a chess boom due to the success of Viswanathan Anand who won the world title. In addition, the boy’s older sister, Vaishali, played chess, who eventually became a strong grandmaster and a member of the Indian women’s team.

Interestingly, initially mom and dad taught Vaishali to play chess in order to somehow distract the girl from the TV, which she watched endlessly. They couldn’t even imagine the far-reaching consequences this act would have.

The children grew up in the family of the director of the Supreme Cooperative Bank of the State of Tamil Nadu, so they had no problems with attending competitions: Rameshbabu’s mother devoted herself entirely to her son’s career. Pragnanandha suffered from a serious illness in childhood – poliomyelitis, because of which for a long time she had to be constantly under the control of adults. Later he began to actively practice sports that did not require much physical effort: he rode a bicycle and played table tennis.

Rameshbabu Pragnanandha

Photo: fide.com

From childhood, brother and sister studied under grandmaster Ramachandran Ramesh, who ran the chess academy in Chennai. Pragnananadhi’s rise was fantastic: at just 10 years old he became an international master and consecutively won several world championships in his age category. Because the boy became a record holder on the list of youngest international teachers, many expected him to enter the Guinness Book of Records and meet the standard of a grandmaster. However, here Rameshbabu ranks fifth on the list: he is slightly behind Abhimanyu Mishra, Sergey Karyakin, Gukesh Dommaraju and Javohir Sindarov.

The competition with Dommaraju for the title of Indian chess prince stimulated the boy: together with his sister he played chess almost around the clock.

“What impresses me about Pragnanandh is that he is not only a strong player, but also combines creative mid-game play with patience and good endgame technique. He is uncompromising, he is not content with easy and quick draws, even when he is playing against strong opponents,” noted former world champion Viswanathan Anand, who had long ago given the boy a great future.

In 2019, Pragnanandha won a major open in Denmark and surpassed the 2600 mark. During the pandemic, Rameshbabu took a big leap and soon broke into the world chess elite. In the pandemic online tournaments, he first won young star competitions and then entered the Magnus Tour, where he defeated world ranking leader Magnus Carlsen multiple times.

The youth of India crushed Carlsen:

“Beating Magnus is special, but there’s nothing to be proud of.” 16-year-old crushes world champion

It cannot be said that Rameshbabu immediately began to win the largest of the strongest tournaments, but he performed very stably in them, and his rating was constantly growing. At the 2022 Chennai Olympics, he battled shoulder to shoulder with Gukesh for a well-deserved prize.

In 2023, thanks to an excellent performance in a strong round robin in Budapest, Pragnanandha gained a rating of 2700 and entered this elite club of super players, reaching the final with Carlsen himself at the World Cup!

And in Russia, the regions have 100 thousand rubles a year for everyone.

But what about our country? In Russia there is a young chess player who successfully competed with Indian geniuses in both youth tournaments and pandemic internet rising star competitions. It is about one of the winners of the Major League of the Russian Championship of 2023, the great teacher Volodar Murzin (17 years old).

Based on the ranking (2630+), Murzin is already storming the world top 100 and has duel wins and draws with many super grandmasters. Volodar did not make it to the current World Cup because due to the current situation he could not play in the European team. But it is obvious that the future successes of him are ahead: the same Nepomniachtchi at this age was far behind Carlsen in ratings, whom he beat in children’s tournaments, and then shot up and entered the supers.

Volodar Murzin

Photo: fide.com

Why is this happening? It seems to me that lately Russian talents have always had worse invitations to strong competitions than European and Asian leaders, and in 2022-2023 the situation here simply became disastrous.

Another thing is who is behind Andrei Esipenko, Volodar Murzin, Arseniy Nesterov and those few young Russians whose talent inspires prospects. At the same time, in my opinion, the Russian Chess Federation does more for young players than the Indian Chess Federation (schools, scholarships, tournaments), but local Indians have hundreds of times better funding.

How the Russian Chess Federation works:


“God forbid, the Russian will be world champion again.” Great interview about the future of our chess

You have seen that Dommaraju and Pragnanandha have had a personal trainer, personal manager and personal psychologist since they were little in their native Chennai! In Russian regions, if you don’t live in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk or Yekaterinburg, just attending a chess tournament turns out to be a daunting financial task.

After chess ceased to coexist in the ministries with Olympic sports, there was a real collapse of the training system in the sports halls, in the School of Youth Sports and in the SDYUSSHOR (what specialist would go for a salary! from 20 thousand?!), in the In the budgets of many chess federations of regions and territories there are about 100 thousand rubles for the entire region for the whole year (!), there is a categorical lack of qualified coaches.

Now they say that the chess players who left the country will be replaced. But how? by whom? A huge amount of additional funds is needed here, a philanthropist like American Rex Sinquefield, who would not be sorry to spend his millions and billions on rising stars.

In Russia there is a very talented young generation of still very young children; the question is: how will they be able to support them and have the conditions for their development?

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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