Chess sensation R Praggnanandhaa likes to have home-cooked food even when he is travelling abroad. Hence, his mother Nagalakshmi carries an induction stove and local masalas so that her son, who is currently competing in the final of the FIDE Chess World Cup, can have rasam and rice amidst overseas tournaments. In fact, those were the first things that she packed in her bag before leaving for Azerbaijan for the ongoing tournament.
Praggnanandhaa was introduced to chess via her sister Vaishali. Their parents had enrolled her in chess classes to cut down the time that she spent watching television. The father, Rameshbabu, speaks highly of his wife and the role that she has played in shaping the careers of their two children. Vaishali, 22, is a women’s grandmaster.
“We had introduced Vaishali to chess so as to cut down on her TV viewing habits as a child. As it happened, the two children liked the game and decided to pursue it. We are happy that the two are enjoying playing chess and also doing well thanks to their passion for chess,” Rameshbabu was quoted in a report by the Press Trust of India (PTI).
Nagalakshmi takes additional steps to ensure the well-being of the two chess sensations at their home in Chennai. The television viewing time is strictly limited for the family. Often guests are restricted to car park or the foyer if the two children are engaged in a game of chess. Rameshbabu said that the mother accompanies her wards in competitions across the world.
“I must credit my wife, who accompanies them to tournaments and is very supportive. She takes great care (of the two),” he explained. Praggnanandhaa drew the opening game of the summit clash against Norwegian stalwart Magnus Carlsen on Tuesday. They will resume the grand finale in Baku on Wednesday.