NEW DELHI: Indian chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa, who made history by securing the silver medal at the 2023 FIDE World Cup and earning a place in the FIDE Candidates tournament, was greeted with an enthusiastic reception upon his arrival at the airport.
The state sports department officials extended a warm welcome, and his devoted fans awaited his emergence with flower crowns, shawls, and bouquets. Traditional Tamil Nadu folk dances, including Karagattam and Oyilattam, were performed in his honour, adding to the celebratory atmosphere.
The teenager, visibly moved by the reception, watched as media personnel surrounded his vehicle, and he expressed his happiness, stating, “I am very happy over the reception.” Praggnanandhaa accepted the national tricolour flag presented to him and waved it with pride.

His mother, Nagalakshmi, shared her joy over the grand reception received by her 18-year-old son, a rising star in the world of chess.

Praggnanandhaa’s remarkable journey in the FIDE World Cup concluded with a tie-break defeat against Norwegian champion Magnus Carlsen, who triumphed 1.5-0.5 after the classical games ended in a draw in Baku, Azerbaijan, on August 24th.
Despite the ultimate outcome, Praggnanandhaa’s achievement resonated deeply with the aspirations of the nation. Chief minister MK Stalin commended his extraordinary accomplishment, noting that it was a source of pride for the entire country.

Praggnanandhaa’s journey is supported by his family, including his elder sister R Vaishali, a two-time youth chess champion, and his parents Rameshbabu and his mother, who have served as his inspiration.
The talented young Grand Master’s journey has not only made waves in the chess world but has also captured the hearts of millions, becoming a symbol of excellence and dedication.

(With inputs from PTI)

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