On Wednesday, the country had hoped for double happiness. Numerous people celebrated wildly after Chandrayaan 3’s historic soft landing on the unexplored south pole of the Moon. Sports fans were multitasking while they watched the landing and followed the FIDE World Cup 2023 final between chess prodigy R Praggnanandhaa and the great Magnus Carlsen. However, they had to wait an extra day because on Thursday, following two drawn classical time control games, Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen’s Baku final entered tiebreakers.
Praggnanandhaa had the chance to write history in the tie-breakers as India continued to celebrate the remarkable accomplishment of Isro’s lunar mission. The adolescent from Chennai lost in the tie-breaker despite having played more gruelling games than the 32-year-old Carlsen prior to the final. Pragg’s endgame fell short, and for the first time in his career, Carlsen won the World Cup.
Despite coming in second place in the final, Praggnanandhaa’s achievements in Baku over the past several weeks have caught the attention of the entire world. The 18-year-old was on a killing spree, defeating players like World No. 2 Hikaru Nakamura and World No. 3 Fabiano Caruano to become the youngest to ever win the title.
The mission’s conclusion was where Pragg faltered. It was a difficult situation since Pragg was competing against the five-time World Champion, who was frantically looking for the one trophy that was still missing from his adorned trophy case. The father of Praggnanandhaa downplayed the outcome and emphasized the significance of the youngster reaching the championship game on the grandest stage and having the chance to face Carlsen. It has a lot of similarities to an Isro moment from 2019. The entire country eagerly anticipated Chandrayaan-2’s Moon landing. Moments before the lander Vikram was supposed to touch down on the Moon’s surface, the mission had a technical problem.
The arduous work was completed. India had put in years of effort, and it was only 2.1 kilometres away from making history. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Isro offices to provide former Isro chief K Sivan, who was battling emotions, a shoulder, much like the thousands who had sent messages to Pragg, who put up a brave battle in Baku on Thursday. He told the researchers at the Isro, “Don’t be discouraged.” “Be brave. The Nation is proud of you. You have always done your best to make India proud.”
“At such a young age, he has already demonstrated that he has what it takes to succeed. He possesses all the necessary traits, including persistence and the capacity to persevere under duress. He also has outstanding competitive abilities. He competes at a very high level and is not just about knowledge, Viswanathan Anand gushed to India Today, praising the young man’s spirit of resistance.
By placing in the top 3 at the World Cup, Pragg has already guaranteed himself a seat at the Candidates for the following year. After Anand himself, he is the only other Indian to have done so. The 18-year-old still has plenty of time in his career to make up for what he fell short of on Thursday in Baku.
Following repeated disappointments, Sachin Tendulkar, who in 2011 fulfilled a boyhood desire, commented on X, “Keep chasing your dreams and making India proud.”
To check the tweet click https://twitter.com/sachin_rt/status/1694687648500379953?s=20
Who could be more qualified to impart this crucial advice to Praggnanandhaa than the renowned cricketer?