TN CM honours prodigy: Missed gold gives Pragnanandhaa some regrets
Indian Chess Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa I File Photo: Wikimedia Commons

TN CM honours prodigy: Missed gold gives Pragnanandhaa some regrets

"I have some regrets... but the silver medal is a super result. My focus is on winning the main event - the World Cup," said Pragnanandhaa.

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Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa on Wednesday (August 30) voiced his disappointment for not securing the gold at the 2023 FIDE World Cup. He shared that his upcoming priority is to clinch the world title in the next opportunity.

Praggnanandhaa, who was felicitated by Chief Minister M K Stalin earlier in the day with a purse of Rs 30 lakh and a memento, was responding to a reporter's question on whether he had any regrets over losing the Chess World Cup to Magnus Carlsen of Norway.

"I have some regrets... but the silver medal is a super result. My focus is on winning the main event - the World Cup," he said.

Following his return to the city, Pragnanandhaa received a cheque for Rs 30 lakh for his performance at the 2023 FIDE World Cup, and entering the FIDE Candidates tournament, from the CM.

Praggnanandhaa also received a memento and a shawl when he called on the Chief Minister at his Alwarpet residence here. State Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, Praggnanandhaa's parents besides officials were present on the occasion.

The prodigy showed the Chief Minister the silver medal that he won at the 2023 FIDE World Cup.

Noting that he was delighted to meet the brilliant young mind upon his return to Chennai, Stalin said Praggnanandhaa's achievements bring glory to Tamil Nadu and the entire country.

"I had the honour of felicitating Praggnanandhaa with a memento and a reward of 30 lakh INR. This gesture reflects our commitment to nurturing young talents in sports. Keep the momentum going, and emerge victorious in the upcoming challenges too, Prag!" the Chief Minister said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

After calling on Stalin, Praggnanandha said, "This is a motivation for sportspersons and a support from the state government. The conduct of the 44th Chess Olympiad has earned recognition for Chess. I thank the Chief Minister and the Sports Minister for their support." The Indian prodigy, who made history in clinching the silver medal in the 2023 FIDE World Cup, at Baku, Azerbaijan, arrived to a hero's welcome to the state.

He was accorded a rousing reception at the airport here. The officials from the state sports department received him at the airport. His fans eagerly waited at the exit gate and presented him a crown of flowers, a shawl and bouquets. Flowers were strewn on his path as he stepped out and artists performed Karagattam and Oyilattam, folk dances of Tamil Nadu, on the occasion.

The teenager took his time watching the media persons swarm on either side of the vehicle which he got into, and said, “I am very happy over the reception.” He accepted the national tricolour offered to him and waved it.

His mother Nagalakshmi too expressed glee over the grand reception accorded to her 18-year-old son.

Indian Grandmaster Praggnanandhaa's dream run in the FIDE World Cup ended at the hands of Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, who beat him 1.5-0.5 in the tie-break at Baku, on August 24 after the classical games ended in a stalemate.

Despite the final result, Praggnanandhaa's achievement resonated with the dreams of 140 crore people, Stalin had said congratulating him.

The young Grand Master has an elder sister R Vaishali, who is two-time youth chess champion.

His parents Rameshbabu, a manager at the TNSC Bank and mother have been a great source of inspiration to Praggnanandhaa.

(With agency inputs)

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