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Rising from Chennai: The Remarkable Journey of Chess Prodigy Praggnanandhaa



In the world of chess, where strategy and intellect intertwine, only a select few prodigies manage to capture the spotlight with their exceptional skills at an early age. Among them stands Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, affectionately known as Praggnanandhaa, a young Indian chess virtuoso whose journey from the bustling streets of Chennai to international chess arenas has captivated the imagination of chess enthusiasts worldwide. With his indomitable spirit and remarkable achievements, Praggnanandhaa has solidified his status as a rising star in the realm of mind sports.

Early Brilliance and Milestones

Born on August 10, 2005, in the chess-loving city of Chennai, Praggnanandhaa’s affinity for the game was evident from a tender age. With an unwavering focus and a keen understanding of the 64 squares, he swiftly etched his name in the annals of chess history. His precocious talent led him to achieve the title of International Master (IM) at a mere 10 years and 10 months, making him the youngest IM in the history of Indian chess—a feat that underscored his unparalleled potential.

Paving the Grandmaster Path

Praggnanandhaa’s journey to greatness didn’t halt at the IM title; it was a mere stepping stone. The young prodigy’s determination and hard work propelled him towards his Grandmaster aspirations. In 2018, he clinched his first Grandmaster norm, signaling his readiness to compete on the grand stage. The following chapters of his story were etched in Italy, where he secured his final GM norm at the Gredine Open—an achievement that resonated with chess enthusiasts across the globe.

A Grandmaster’s Crown

On June 23, 2018, history beckoned as Praggnanandhaa, aged 12 years, 10 months, and 13 days, was officially anointed with the coveted title of Grandmaster. His meteoric rise saw him miss breaking the record set by Sergey Karjakin for the youngest Grandmaster by a mere few days, a testament to his exceptional talent and relentless pursuit of excellence.

The narrative of Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa epitomizes the fusion of raw talent, unwavering commitment, and diligent mentorship. As the chess world continues to watch his journey unfold, one thing is certain: Praggnanandhaa’s legacy is not just the story of a chess prodigy, but a testament to the limitless possibilities that await those who dare to dream and diligently pursue their passions. As the chessboard transforms into a canvas of strategy, Praggnanandhaa’s every move becomes a stroke of brilliance, etching his name among the legends of the game.

Strategic Brilliance and Consistency

Praggnanandhaa’s gameplay transcends his age, characterized by an aggressive yet calculated approach that keeps opponents on their toes. His performances in international tournaments have left seasoned Grandmasters in awe, solidifying his reputation as a force to be reckoned with. His aggressive style, complemented by profound positional understanding, has become his trademark, earning him accolades from all corners of the chess world.

Nurturing Champions: The Role of Guidance and Support

Behind every prodigious talent lies a network of mentors and support. Praggnanandhaa’s journey is no exception. His father, Rameshbabu, played a pivotal role in nurturing his early interest and shaping his chess acumen. Additionally, the guidance of renowned coach Vladimir Kramnik, a former World Chess Champion, injected wisdom and sophistication into Praggnanandhaa’s game.

A seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience in media, Jigar is passionate about lifestyle, films, food, and music. Crafting compelling stories and strategies for digital platforms is his forte. With sharp insights into India's media scene, he's always ahead of trends, and has a keen interest in identifying talent, giving spotlight to creators, campaigns, and building connections through impactful content that resonates with diverse audiences.


Zerodha’s Nikhil Kamath Sees Gaming as a Serious Career Path



nikhil kamath wtf is gaming podcast - the reel stars

Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of the Indian financial powerhouse Zerodha, is throwing down the controller and picking up the megaphone – to advocate for gaming as a legitimate career path. In a recent LinkedIn post, Kamath urged a paradigm shift, arguing that gaming has transcended its “hobby” status and now offers lucrative career opportunities that deserve recognition from both parents and educational institutions.

“This isn’t just a hobby anymore.”

Kamath’s message wasn’t just a casual tweet. He shared a clip from his gaming podcast, highlighting the booming Indian gaming industry. “This isn’t just a hobby anymore,” he declared, “but a serious career option that deserves validation. However, from parents and institutions alike.” His words resonated with the growing popularity of interactive entertainment. Furthermore, which he believes will be a dominant force in the years to come.

The podcast clip delves into specific examples, with Kamath discussing popular titles like PUBG Mobile and Ludo King. He doesn’t shy away from mentioning the success stories of Indian gamers. Besides, who’ve carved their niche in the competitive world of e-sports. This resonated with his audience, with comments from enthusiastic gamers echoing Kamath’s sentiment.

Users chimed in, highlighting the vast career opportunities within the industry. Moreover, the need for broader support for this rapidly growing sector.

“The podcast perfectly captures all the nooks and corners of the gaming industry. We need more shows like this to educate people about gaming.”

This isn’t Kamath’s first foray into the world of gaming advocacy. Nikhil Kamath previously acknowledged the “crazy” growth rate of gaming among younger demographics. However, predicting a much faster rise for gaming and e-sports compared to traditional forms of entertainment. His latest statement adds weight to this prediction.

Watch the full podcast on gaming here:

The episode featured prominent figures in gaming like the CEO of 8bit creatives Animesh Agarwal, CEO of Krafton India Sean Hyunil Sohn, CEO of Nazara Technology Nitish Mittersain and CEO of Lila Games Joseph Kim.

Kamath’s stance aligns perfectly with the current trajectory of the Indian gaming industry. With millennials driving the surge in interest and participation, the industry is poised for a meteoric rise. This rise signifies a potential shift in the landscape of entertainment, with careers within gaming likely becoming increasingly sought-after. Besides, Kamath’s advocacy serves as a catalyst, encouraging a re-evaluation of how we view gaming. It’s not just as a leisure activity, but a legitimate path to a successful and fulfilling career.

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All India Chess Federation Wants To Collaborate with Content Creators



All India Chess Federation wants to collaborate with content creators - The Reel Stars

In the wake of a historic month for Indian chess, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) has unveiled ambitious plans aimed at further popularizing the sport across the nation. With a substantial budget of Rs 65 crore earmarked for these initiatives, the federation is keen on leveraging the momentum generated by recent successes.

Last month saw five Indian grandmasters—Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa, Vidit Gujrathi, Humpy Koneru, and Vaishali—participating in the prestigious Candidates tournament. Among them, 17-year-old Gukesh clinched victory in the open section, securing a spot in the World Chess Championship.
Gukesh has captured the imagination of the global chess community with his remarkable triumph in the FIDE Candidates Chess Tournament 2024. This makes him the youngest contender in the upcoming World Championship final. 

Building on this remarkable achievement, the AICF is now focusing on fostering a vibrant community of chess content creators. Recognizing the influential role of online platforms, the federation aims to collaborate with YouTubers, influencers, and streamers. Additionally, it plans to provide mentorship opportunities, enabling aspiring creators to learn from established figures in the field.

The initiatives announced by the Indian chess federation encompass a wide range of measures. These include the establishment of a chess development fund, offering robust financial support through player contracts and coaching at various levels, as well as backing district and state associations financially. Furthermore, the federation is set to inaugurate a state-of-the-art National Chess Arena (NCA), dedicated to elite-level training. Additionally, a specialized AICF Rating system tailored for India is in the pipeline.

With these comprehensive plans, the AICF aims to capitalize on the recent achievements in Indian chess and propel the sport to even greater heights. By embracing the digital landscape and nurturing emerging talent, the federation is laying the groundwork for a vibrant and sustainable future for chess in India.

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Networking Just Leveled-Up with LinkedIn Gaming



LinkedIn, the go-to platform for professional networking, is making a surprising move – entering the gaming world! They’ve launched three new “thinking-oriented” games designed to boost user engagement and keep you coming back for more.

Why Games?

The digital media landscape is constantly evolving, and platforms like TikTok and Instagram are grabbing the attention of younger generations. LinkedIn recognizes the need to adapt and is taking a cue from the success of word and logic puzzles like those found in newspapers (think crosswords and Sudoku).

The New York Times’ iconic puzzles are a prime example of how these brain teasers can expand an audience and convert casual players into loyal readers. The viral sensation Wordle, acquired by the Times in 2022, further demonstrates the power of engaging word games. Just like Wordle, each of LinkedIn’s new offerings can be played once a day.

Meet the New LinkedIn Games

  • Pinpoint: Test your word association skills by guessing the category that five gradually revealed words belong to. The faster you guess, the higher your score!
  • Crossclimb: This one combines trivia with a bit of wordplay. Starting with a clue, you’ll build a “ladder” of words, each one differing from the last by just one letter. Arrange them correctly to reveal the answer and win the game.
  • Queens: Calling all Sudoku fans! This classic logic puzzle takes center stage, but ditch the numbers and use queens instead. Your goal is to strategically place them on a grid so no queens can attack each other, with one queen per row and column.

More Than Just Fun and Games

LinkedIn’s foray into gaming goes beyond pure entertainment. It’s a strategic move to address the shrinking ad revenue landscape and the ever-increasing dominance of Google over online content. These new games provide a unique way to attract new users and keep existing ones engaged, potentially leading to monetization opportunities further down the line.

The success of The New York Times’ games platform – with over 8 billion plays last year – is a prime example. Their subscription model offers access to games alone or bundled with other content, demonstrating the power of games in driving user retention. Publications and media giants like Hearst and Netflix are following suit, understanding the value of interactive experiences.

Building Connections Through Play

While monetization isn’t the immediate focus for LinkedIn’s games, they offer a valuable tool for fostering connections within your professional network. You can see your high score, daily streak, and who among your connections is also playing. School and company leaderboards add a touch of friendly competition, making networking a little more fun.

As LinkedIn’s product director, Lakshman Somasundaram, stated, “It’s time we turn over a new leaf in how we deepen and reignite relationships at work, and put fun at the heart of it.” So, get ready to level up your connections and test your brainpower with LinkedIn’s exciting new gaming features!

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