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Updated January 17th, 2024 at 13:35 IST

R Praggnanandhaa stuns world champion Ding Liren of China, surpasses Anand to become India's No.1

With this win, Praggnanandhaa also surpassed Viswanathan Anand as the top-rated Indian player. 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa now has 2748.3 points in FIDE ranking.

Praggnanandhaa defeats Ding Liren
Praggnanandhaa defeats Ding Liren | Image:Tata Steel Chess
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India's chess sensation R Praggnanandhaa has again done what he does best, outsmarted and defeated higher-ranked opponents. This time it was the turn of world champion Ding Liren of China as the teenaged Indian chess superstar stunned Liren with black pieces in a 62-move win in the fourth round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. This is the second time after Viswanathan Anand that an Indian has defeated a reigning world champion in classical chess.

With this win, Praggnanandhaa also surpassed the legendary Viswanathan Anand as the top-rated Indian player. 18-year-old Praggnanandhaa now has 2748.3 points after his victory over Ding Liren. five-time world champion Anand has 2748 points in the FIDE live ratings. The world chess body publishes the ratings at the start of each month.

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Praggnanandhaa had also beaten Liren at the 2023 Tata Steel tournament.

"That feels good!" Praggnanandhaa said after the win. He is now third in the standings with 2.5 points in the Masters event.

The teenaged Indian GM has been in good form in recent times, having finished runner-up in the World Cup to Magnus Carlsen last year to qualify for the Candidates tournament to be held in April to identify the challenger to Liren. The Masters group saw Dutch player Anish Giri emerge as the sole leader heading into the first rest day. Giri's endgame prowess secured him victory against teenaged Indian GM D Gukesh to take him to 3.5 points.

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Alireza Firouzja is half a point behind the leader on 3 points.

The third Indian player in the fray, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi was held to a draw by Jorden Van Foreest in round four. He has 2 points from four rounds.

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In the fifth round on Thursday, Praggnanandhaa runs into the leader Anish Giri while his compatriots Gukesh and Gujrathi will take on Ian Nepomniachtchi and Max Warmerdam respectively. 

(with PTI inputs)

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Published January 17th, 2024 at 12:28 IST

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