In India, millions of people are eagerly rallying behind the young chess sensation Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, affectionately known as Pragg. He is about to engage in a historic battle against Norwegian grandmaster Magnus Carlsen for the prestigious title of World Chess Champion. This 18-year-old prodigy has earned his spot in this ultimate showdown after a captivating match against Fabiano Caruana.

This much-anticipated clash comes over a year after Praggnanandhaa astonished the global chess community by defeating Carlsen in an online rapid chess tournament. This remarkable achievement not only made him the youngest player to conquer the reigning world champion since Carlsen’s 2013 victory but also gained widespread recognition in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar were among those praising Praggnanandhaa’s extraordinary skills. Hailing from Chennai, known as India’s “chess capital,” Praggnanandhaa’s journey began when he was just 2 years old, inspired by his older sister. He nurtured his skills at the Bloom Chess Academy and achieved early successes, including winning gold in the Asian Championships and clinching victory in the World Youth Chess Championships for under-8s and under-10s. A remarkable milestone was his emergence as the youngest-ever international chess master at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days. As he once again faces Carlsen, Praggnanandhaa’s inspiring journey continues to captivate the imagination of chess enthusiasts around the world.