One of the youngest grandmasters in the country, the 17-year-old defeated world champion Magnus Carlsen three times in just six months, something that will go down in history as one of the highlights of his career.
He recently played his best game of the season Final Meltwater Chess Champions Tourbeating Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
President Droupadi Murmu presents the 2022 Arjuna Award to Shri R Praggnanandhaa for his achievements in chess. He won:… https://t.co/TVM0Yl6ztx
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) 1669815606000
“Yes, my ultimate dream and goal is to become the number one in the world and world chess champion, and I think it can be achievable in the next three to four years,” Praggnandhaa told PTI before leaving for Rashtrapati Bhawan to receive the Arjuna award here on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it should take long. If I keep playing well and going in the right direction, then realistically it’s possible.”
During the Meltwater Chess Champions Tour Finals, Praggnanandhaa and reigning world champion Carlsen chose to play chess near San Francisco’s iconic Bay Bridge.
“Yes, I’ve been in a very good shape lately. And I’m consistently playing well. I deserve the Arjuna Award. I don’t think the award has come very early. It’s a recognition of the effort. It’s good for sports.
“I hope the prize will help motivate me even more to reach greater heights and also motivate other chess players,” he said.
Praggnanandhaa, the youngest player to beat reigning World Chess Champion Carlson, believes he needs to play against higher ranked players to achieve his goal.
“I plan to play higher ranked players. I need to select the top international championships. I also need to improve my ELO ratings. Yes, there are many tasks ahead, but as I said, they are realistically possible.”
He said former world champion Viswanathan Anand has been a constant source of inspiration.
“Anand sir is the first person to tell me that one day I can become world champion. I want to prove that I am right. I get all the help and support from him. I am sure that my game is getting better every day.”
He said he had only one ambition: to be the best in the world.
“I channeled all my energy in one direction. But that doesn’t mean I shut off my other abilities. I read a lot and am up to date with current events. But yes, chess is my life, my passion, my everything.”
When asked about an area he needs to improve on, he said he plans to try a few new things but won’t reveal it at this stage.
“The game of chess is about rediscovering new things, newer openings, playing in middle position and I will try to improve and improvise them.”