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Interim Budget 2024: Sitharaman praises THIS 18-yr-old Indian during her speech

2023 was a monumental year for Indian chess and at the forefront was Praggnanandhaa, who became the youngest-ever World Cup finalist last year, and whose efforts were lauded by Sitharaman for his achievements in the sport.

Interim Budget 2024 Sitharaman praises THIS 18 year old Indian during her speech gcw
First Published Feb 1, 2024, 2:54 PM IST

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman praised 18-year-old Indian GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa today for leading the charge in the revival of chess in India and the country's ascent in the international rankings.

Sitaraman began by praising Indian athletics and its development over the previous year, mentioning the nation's successes in the Asian Games and the Asian Para Games in the previous year. "In 2023, the nation achieved its greatest-ever medal total in the Asian Games and Asian Para Games," said Sitharaman.

She continued by praising the chess prodigy for his valiant match against the renowned Magnus Carlsen and highlighting the explosive expansion of the Indian chess community in the last ten years.

“Chess prodigy and our No. 1 ranked player Praggnanandhaa put up a stiff fight against world champion Magnus Carlsen in 2023. Today, India has over 80 chess grandmasters compared to little over 20 in 2010”.

2023 was a historic year for Indian chess, led by Praggnanandhaa, who last year became the youngest-ever World Cup finalist and whose accomplishments in the game were acknowledged by Sitharaman. Never in the past, India had a substantial representation at the chess Candidates tournament. But, this time around, that has not been the case.

Interestingly this will also be the first time, siblings – Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali- will be participating in the Candidates tournament from India. 

After an incredible 2023, Praggnanandhaa, who is leading the Indian contingent's chess heroics, has hardly slowed down. In the ninth round of the Tata Steel Masters, the youthful GM just overcame the four-time and current world champion women's doubles player from China, Wenjun Ju.

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