Indian Chess Dominance: Five Players Secure Top 10 Spots in Junior World Rankings

In a remarkable feat, five Indian chess prodigies clinch top 10 positions in the Junior World Rankings, signaling a new era of dominance in the international chess scene.

For the first time in history, young Indian chess players have achieved a remarkable feat by occupying five slots, including the top spot, in the junior world rankings. The top-ranked R. Praggnanandhaa (Elo rating 2747) leads the list, followed by D. Gukesh (2743) in the third position, Nihal Sarin (2693) at sixth, Raunak Sadhwani (2654) at seventh, and Leon Luke Mendonca (2631) at the tenth spot, according to the latest ranking list by the International Chess Federation (FIDE).

R. Praggnanandhaa: Top 5 Achievements in Points

  • Youngest Chess Grandmaster: Achieved the title at the age of 12 years and 10 months in 2018, breaking the record at the time.
  • World Champion Defeater: Beat Magnus Carlsen, the current World Chess Champion, in 2022, becoming the youngest player ever to do so.
  • World Cup Finalist: Reached the finals of the Chess World Cup in 2023, becoming only the second Indian player to achieve this feat.
  • World Champion Titles: Won the World Under-12 Chess Championship in 2013 and the World Under-18 Chess Championship in 2019.
  • Top Chess Ranking: Achieved a peak ranking of 50 in the world in blitz chess in 2020.

Aggressive Playing Style: Known for his attacking and dynamic approach to the game, making him a fan favourite.

Also Read: Chess: History, Types, Rules, Equipment And More

D. Gukesh: Top 5 Achievements in Points

  • India’s Number One: Surpassed legend Viswanathan Anand to become India’s highest-ranked player with a FIDE rating of 2758 (September 2023).
  • Olympiad Hero: Gold medal on first board and a stellar performance rating of 2867 at the 44th Chess Olympiad (2022).
  • Youngest Grandmaster: Second-youngest ever at 12 years and 7 months, falling just 17 days short of the record (2019).
  • Speed Chess Prowess: Champion of the Junior Speed Chess Championship, defeating strong opponents in a knockout format (2023).
  • Breaking Records: Youngest player ever to cross the 2750 FIDE rating mark, surpassing even Magnus Carlsen (July 2023).

Nihal Sarin: Top 5 Achievements in Points

  • Youngest Grandmaster: Became a chess Grandmaster at just 14, among the youngest ever.
  • World Champion: Won the World Under-10 Blitz Championship in 2013 and the U-10 World Youth Championship in 2014.
  • Online Domination: Two-time Junior Speed Chess Champion (2020, 2021) and finalist in the 2022 Global Championship.
  • Team Player: Gold medal with the Indian team in the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020.
  • Sportsmanship Award: Won the 2023 Sportstar Aces Popular Choice Award for displaying exceptional sportsmanship.

Also Read: Praggnanandhaa keeps India’s World Chess title hopes alive

Interestingly, R. Praggnanandhaa and Gukesh are set to participate in the upcoming Candidates Tournament in Canada. The tournament winner will earn the opportunity to challenge World Chess Champion Liren Ding (2762) for the world title.

In the girls’ section, two Indian players, Sarayu Velpula (2444, 2nd rank) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Divya Deshmukh (2427, 3rd rank), are part of the top 10 club.

In the women’s section, India’s seasoned Grandmaster Koneru Humpy holds the third rank with a rating of 2554. Humpy is also slated to participate in the Women Candidates in Canada. Although not in the top ten worldwide, WGM R. Vaishali will compete in the Women Candidates tournament.

It’s worth noting that no Indian chess player is currently ranked in the top ten in the Open category.

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