Millions of eager spectators in India are poised to rally behind the young chess sensation Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, affectionately known as Pragg, as he embarks on a historic battle against Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen for the coveted title of World Chess Champion. The 18-year-old prodigy has earned his place in the ultimate showdown after a thrilling match against Fabiano Caruana.

This anticipated clash arrives over a year after Praggnanandhaa astounded the global chess community by toppling Carlsen in an online elite rapid chess tournament. This remarkable feat not only made him the youngest player to triumph over the reigning world champion since Carlsen’s 2013 victory but also garnered extensive recognition across India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar were among those lauding Praggnanandhaa’s exceptional prowess. Originating from Chennai, renowned as India’s “chess capital,” Praggnanandhaa’s chess journey commenced at the tender age of 2, ignited by his older sister’s passion for the game. Nurtured in this encouraging environment, he refined his skills at the Bloom Chess Academy. His early achievements encompassed securing gold in the Asian Championships and clinching victory in the World Youth Chess Championships for under-8s and under-10s. A truly remarkable feat was accomplished at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days when he became the youngest-ever international chess master by emerging victorious in the KIIT International Chess Festival in 2016. Despite his extraordinary triumphs, Praggnanandhaa remains remarkably humble, viewing himself as just one of numerous role models within the chess fraternity. As he embarks on yet another battle against Carlsen, his remarkable journey continues to inspire and captivate the imaginations of chess enthusiasts on a global scale.