Praggnanandhaa Breaks 2700 Rating With Tournament Win In Budapest

Praggnanandhaa Breaks 2700 Rating With Tournament Win In Budapest


17-year-old GM Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu continues to climb the highest rungs of professional chess. On Wednesday, he won the V. Geza Hetenyi Memorial | GM, held in Budapest, and will cross the 2700-rating threshold on the next official FIDE list. He is currently number 31 in the world and the eighth Indian player to break 2700.

Praggnanandhaa entered the round-robin tournament of 10 world-class grandmasters as the eighth seed, rated 2690, but left Hungary rated 2709 and with €5,000. He finished with 6.5/9, a full point ahead of GMs Amin Tabatabaei and Sanan Sjugirov, and with a performance rating of 2833. 

The moment he broke 2700 came in round two, where he took down GM Parham Maghsoodloo to start the tournament with a perfect 2/2 score. Shortly after his opening novelty 14.Qc2N, he won a pawn and converted the advantage without giving the aggressive Iranian grandmaster any chances.

He would win his first four games consecutively before suffering a loss to Tabatabaei in round five. A win, and three draws after that, was enough to top the field—and to make history. 

The Indian teenager earned his grandmaster title at the age of 12. He made international headlines after defeating then-World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the 2022 Melwater Champions Chess Tour 2022. The same year, he also received the Arjuna Award from President Droupadi Murmu, the highest sporting honor in India. 

Praggnanandhaa was board three for team India 2, which finished third in the 2022 Chess Olympiad. In the Tech Mahindra Global Chess League 2023, he was an invaluable asset for his team, the Alpine Warriors, as he went undefeated the entire event and with a six-game winning streak.

He is number six in India and the third highest-rated junior in his chess powerhouse country, behind GMs Gukesh D (2744) and Arjun Erigaisi (2710). GM Nihal Sarin, another member of the Indian prodigy brigade, is rated 2688. 

Former World Champion Viswanathan Anand is still India’s number one, and he was India’s first grandmaster in 1988. While the tournament was still ongoing, he said: “I have thought of Pragg as basically a 2700-player for a while, in the sense that he competes quite well in tournaments against them, you know, beaten [World Champion] Ding Liren, things like that… but sometimes these things take some time to come together. Recently, his form has been very impressive, so maybe he’s just in that phase.”



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