R Praggnanandhaa surpasses Viswanathan Anand to become India’s No.1, following victory over Ding Liren


Indian chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa scripted history as he defeated reigning World Champion Ding Liren in a fourth round clash at the Tata Steel Masters in Wijk aan Zee on Tuesday, 16 January.

With this win, the teenager has eclipsed five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand as India’s top chess player in the FIDE’s live ratings. Praggnanandhaa jumped two spots to 11th overall with 2748.3 rating points, 0.3 more than Anand.

The 18-year-old also became the second Indian, after Anand, to defeat a world champion in classical chess.

“I felt I equalized very easily and then somehow things started to go wrong for him. Even after I won the pawn I felt it should be holdable,” Praggnanandhaa was quoted as saying by

“I think any day, if you beat such a strong player, it’s always special because it’s not very easy to beat them. The first time winning against a world champion in classical chess feels good,” he added.

Meanwhile, Anish Giri emerged as the lone leader of the Masters group as they approached their first rest day. Giri’s superb endgame prowess earned him a victory over D Gukesh, cementing his place at the top.