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Leonard Barden on Chess

An 11-year-old Indian boy with a very long name is changing chess history. Already the youngest ever international master, the Chennai prodigy is likely to eclipse Sergey Karjakin’s long standing world record as the only pre-teen player to achieve the grandmaster title. His early career is outpacing both Russia’s Karjakin (GM at 12 years and seven months) and Norway’s reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen (GM at 13 years and four months), whose title match starts in New York on 11 November.

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa learned chess at five, and soon made remarkable progress. He won the world under-eight title in 2013, the under-10 in 2015, and is currently the No1 seed in the world under-12 at Batumi, Georgia. He outclasses his peers but it is his advance in global adult chess which has set new all-time peaks for age achievement.

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