12-year-old Praggnanandhaa’s win over Awonder Liang in Round 8 of the World Junior Championship in Tarvisio took his performance rating to 2749 and guaranteed him his first grandmaster norm. He might not stop there, though, since with only three rounds to go he’s just half a point behind the leader, Aryan Tari. If he did win the tournament he’d gain the grandmaster title immediately without the need to score two more norms and in the process smash Sergey Karjakin’s record to become the youngest grandmaster in history.
Praggnanandhaa may be only 12 years and 3 months old, but he’s already been the youngest international master in history and it’s been obvious for some time now that he was ready to perform at a grandmaster level. He hit the 2500 rating requirement on his birthday in August, but just missed out on a first grandmaster norm when he lost in the last round of the HZ Tournament to Eduardo Iturrizaga.
He then fell short in the Sants Open, the Isle of Man International and the Chigorin Memorial, casting doubt on whether he would go on to beat Sergey Karjakin’s record of gaining the grandmaster title at the age of 12 years and 7 months. Now though, despite starting as only the 26th seed in a tournament where players up to the age of 20 are eligible, he’s scored his first grandmaster norm with three rounds still to spare.
- Official website
- All the games with computer analysis on chess24: Open | Girls
- Praggnanandhaa beats World Junior top seed