Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand on Sunday heaped praise on the country’s latest Grand Master R Praggananadha for achieving the title and said heshould just go out there and enjoy himself hereafter rather than thinking about the expectations because its a very strong field.
“Heshould just go out there and enjoy himself here after rather than thinking about the expectations because its a very strong field,”Anand said at a function here to felicitate Praggananadha on becoming the second youngest GM in the world.
The former world champion said though there was pressure on the youngster, he managed to accomplish the title quickly afterward.
“Therewas a bit too much pressure on him when he was so close to breaking the record. It’s very nice that he has accomplished it very quickly afterwards and it’s a fantastic achievement,” Anand added.
“I managed to become a GM only when I was 18 and to do it at such a young age takes some doing,” he said.
Anand, who interacted with Praggananadha a few days ago, said he was happy that the boy visited him.
“I am very happy that he visited me a couple of days back right after he won the title.There are some people who you start liking immediately and Pragg is one. It may be because he is young,” he added.
Across the world, there is a lot of enthusiasm for him. The chess community, be it in any part of the world, was following his quest to see if he would break the record, Anand said.
He also said Praggananadha benefitted a lot from the support he got from various quarters.
“The entire environment has to be conducive. We could see that Pragg has benefited a lot from his parents, who have done a remarkable job in supporting him, his sister, Velammal
School and his coach,” he added.
“It’s always nice to receive support but it is wonderful when you receive it at the right time, when you need it the most,” India’s first Grand Master said.
Anand also said the 12-year old would need to cope with the expectations. “He will need to cope up with the expectations and suddenly there is too much weight on his shoulders,” the 48-year old world rapid chess champion said.
Anand had a word of advice for Praggananadha and told him to see the road ahead as a journey for at least a decade. “My advice to him would be to see this as something only for the next year but to see it as a journey for at least a decade,” he added.
“It really doesnt matter as to what happens at every step now. I feel he must be very relaxed now. Once youhit a goal, you dont know what to do with yourself,” he said.
FIDE (world chess federation) vice president D V Sundar also hailed Praggananadha for becoming the second youngest GM in the world and said he must learnAnand to be controversy free.
Microsense Private Limited managing director S Kailasanathan, a former Tamil Nadu chess champion, said it was nice to see Indian youngsters doing well and praised Praggananadha for his achievements.
Praggananadha’s coach R B Ramesh, who runs Chess Gurukul, said, “I am proud that one of my students has become a world star at so young an age.”
Microsense presented a cash purse of Rs three lakh to Praggananadha.
The Chennai-based youngster took part in a blindfold simultaneous chess display on the occasion.
He will next take part in a tournament at Leon, Spain, from July 5.