16-Year-Old Chess Prodigy Solves Problems Without Ever Seeing the Board

At just 18 years old, chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa already has too many accomplishments to count. When he was only 10, he became an international master. Two years later, he became a grandmaster, making him the second youngest person at that time to do so. Ranked as the #16 chess player in the world, he is currently competing in the 2024 Candidates Tournament for an opportunity to face off against fellow grandmaster and reigning world champion Ding Liren at the World Chess Championship 2024.

A look back at a video from two years ago shows off his impressive chess skills. It depicts the young chess player, then 16, being given a series of chess problems and having to solve them in his head without looking at a board. Even as the interviewer rapidly fires off a series of chess moves, sometimes close to a dozen at once, Praggnanandhaa's response to the challenge is effortless. He is able to respond with moves on his own, capturing the interviewer's imaginary pieces one after another with practiced ease.

Thankfully, for those not well-versed in chess, the interviewer has included a graphic on the side of the screen to help everyone follow along with the game. Even so, the animated moves go by so fast sometimes that they can be difficult to keep up with, which is truly a testament to Praggnanandhaa's skill.

On Reddit, where the video has also circulated, a user chimed in, stating, “Not only a great memory, but being able to visualize it all in your head is impressive as well.” Considering the video was taken two years ago, one can only imagine how far Praggnanandhaa has come since then, and how much his abilities have improved.

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa: Instagram | Facebook
h/t: [Reddit]

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Sarah Currier

Sarah Currier is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Based in central Iowa, she is currently enrolled at Iowa State University and is working toward a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in English. She loves all things creative, and when she’s not writing, you can find her immersed in the worlds of television, film, and literature.
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