chessbase india logo

Chairman of ISRO S. Somanath visits Praggnanandhaa's home in Chennai

by Sagar Shah - 24/10/2023

Two prides of our country - 17-year-old Praggnanandhaa and 60-year-old S.Somanath, the chairman of ISRO met each other on 16th of October 2023. This meet took place at Pragg's residence in Chennai. Somanath was keen to know more about Pragg's journey and also mentioned that Pragg would work together with ISRO to promote space, sciene and technology to the youngsters of our nation. What did Pragg feel about the entire episode, we get to know more about it in this article.

On 23rd of August 2023 we made a post on our Twitter:

"There is an aspiration in the Indians - to be the best in the world at what we do. It's with this same aspiration that two huge events are going to take place on the 23rd of August 2023. Chandrayaan 3 is going to land on the moon and Praggnanandhaa is going to try and beat Magnus Carlsen at the FIDE World Cup 2023. Both are extremely difficult tasks to achieve, but the entire nation of 1.4 billion people is going to root for them! :) Why is it that what Chandrayaan-3 is trying to do is so difficult to achieve? Well, because it has never been done before. In the past people have achieved landing their module on the Lunar surface but that was near moon's equatorial region. What Chandrayaan-3 is trying to do is land the moon near its south polar region. This is not at all easy and has never been attempted before. The entire nation will watch with bated breath as the landing is planned on 6.04 p.m. on 23rd of August 2023.


In Baku, Azerbaijan, an 18-year-old Indian is going to sit opposite the greatest chess player on the planet right now Magnus Carlsen and is going to try and beat him at the FIDE Chess World Cup 2023. It's not going to be easy for Praggnanandhaa. Magnus Carlsen is hungry for the title. He has never won the World Cup before. But Pragg is in scintillating form. He has already knocked out world no.3 Hikaru Nakamura and world no.2 Fabiano Caruana from this event. If he beats Magnus on 23rd of August 2023, Pragg creates history as the youngest ever player in the world to win the FIDE World Cup. The game starts at 4.30 p.m. IST.


The landing on moon's south pole and beating Magnus Carlsen are both quite tough. But what the Chandrayaan-3 (ISRO) and Praggnanandhaa make us believe is that it is important to attempt the difficult. There are goals in the world that no one believed someone could achieve. But with hardwork and quiet dedication, you can let your "moves" do the talking. And who knows, if you achieve it, it will expand the collective consciousness of the world of what is possible and what is not! :) We hope that both Chandrayaan and Pragnanandhaa are successful in their missions today. But even if they are not, we as Indians are proud that they both are attempting something truly special. PS: Isn't it an amazing co-incidence that the rover of Chandrayaan-3 is named as Pragyan! Or is it really a co-incidence! :)"

Chandrayaan 3 did land successfully on the moon and the rover Pragyan 3 began its job. Meanwhile, Pragg did hold Magnus Carlsen to a draw in the first two classical games but then lost to him in the tiebreaks. It was still an extremely successful event for Pragg as he reached the finals, won the silver medal and also got himself a spot in the FIDE Candidates 2024.

Fast forward a couple of months, on 16th of October 2023, Praggnanandhaa met the Chairman of ISRO S. Somanath. The meeting took place at Pragg's home in Chennai.

Pragg being gifted the LVM3 by Mr. Somanath as his father Rameshbabu proudly looks on. According to Somanath, "Rockets are meant to go up, and in the same way we wish Pragg go to upwards in his chess career."

Speaking about how this meeting came about, Pragg says, "We got a call from a Somanath sir's PA to my father asking if we could meet at my place because he was coming to Chennai on 16th of October. We were very delighted and happy to meet sir. I remember, I was watching Chandrayaan 3 takeoff while I was in Hungary for the Geza Hetenyi Memorial. After my 2nd classical game against Magnus at the FIDE World Cup 2023, I remember watching the landing of Chandrayaan 3 on the moon and it was a very proud feeling.

Pragg speaks about watching the Chandrayaan 3 after his game with Magnus. This interview was done after the FIDE World Cup 2023

"We felt honored to host him at our place. We were discussing about my journey and my trainings and also we were also discussing about Chandrayaan 3. Sir also gifted us a replica of LVM 3 model. I really enjoyed the conversations. I was showing him showing some photos and my medals from the World Cup and Asian Games."

A wonderful group photo!

This might not be the last time these two personalities meet each other. "Sir has invited me to Trivandrum and Sriharikota to visit the launchers and see how the rockets are made. I am very excited for it. Hopefully one day I'll visit them soon."

Authentic south Indian food was served to the guests!

The Chairman of ISRO did mention in an interview about Pragg working together with ISRO to promote space. According to him it will help more youngsters in the country take up science, engineering, technology. What does Pragg have to say about this? "Regarding working with ISRO, we haven't discussed much yet, but I'll be more than happy to do anything for them. They have made Indians very proud and I'll be extremely happy to do anything they want. And yeah, I just take this opportunity to say best wishes to all the scientists in ISRO and best wishes for all their future launches. There are many more missions coming up for them. We are very proud of what they are doing."

While Pragg is 17 years old and S. Somanath is 60 years old, one thing that is common to both of them is the fact that they have made India proud on innumerable occasions and we believe that they will continue to do so in the coming years!


Related news:
A unique opportunity for Bangalore to meet Vishy, Gukesh, Pragg and Vaishali | WACA celebrations 2024

@ 17/05/2024 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa and Indian chess make a surprising appearance at the Interim Budget 2024

@ 05/02/2024 by Tina Popli (en)
Praggnanandhaa enters into a long term sponsorship agreement with Adani Group

@ 10/01/2024 by Tina Popli (en)
प्रज्ञानन्दा और अदानी ग्रुप में करार , लंबे समय तक प्रायोजित करेगा अदानी ग्रुप

@ 05/01/2024 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
How the world reacted to Praggnanandhaa’s silver medal finish at World Cup 2023

@ 11/09/2023 by Sneha Tiwari (en)
Gukesh dethrones Vishy Anand's 37-year-long reign as India no.1 officially, also becomes World no.8

@ 01/09/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
मैंने नहीं सोचा था कैंडिडैट में होगा चयन " प्रज्ञानन्दा

@ 27/08/2023 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
The life story of Praggnanandhaa in 120 pictures: From a talent to a Candidate

@ 22/08/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)
Indian chess community on Praggnanandhaa crossing 2700 Elo at the age of 17 years

@ 29/07/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa triumphs at V Géza Hetényi Memorial 2023 with a 2833 performance

@ 20/07/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Praggnanandhaa on the verge of winning V Géza Hetényi Memorial 2023

@ 19/07/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
ये तो होना ही था ! प्रज्ञानन्दा हुए 2700 के पार

@ 13/07/2023 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Praggnanandhaa teams up with Carlsen for the first time for Offerspill and wins Norwegian Elite League 2022-23

@ 06/03/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Your chance to meet Vishy Anand and the young super talents of Indian chess in Bangalore!

@ 06/09/2022 by Sagar Shah (en)
"Don't worry, just beat Magnus Carlsen" The Praggnanandhaa Interview

@ 23/08/2022 by Himank Ghosh (en)
Praggnanandhaa clinches 15th Paracin Open with a 2789 performance, now World no.89

@ 17/07/2022 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
The Praggnanandhaa interview on winning the Norway Chess Open

@ 14/06/2022 by Himank Ghosh (en)
Praggnanandhaa on his debut at Tata Steel Chess 2022 Masters

@ 09/02/2022 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Praggnanandhaa will fight against Carlsen, Caruana & Co. at the Tata Steel Masters 2022

@ 27/10/2021 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa and his visa issues

@ 06/07/2021 by Sagar Shah (en)
भारत के सुनहरे भविष्य का संकेत : निहाल -प्रग्गानंधा

@ 03/09/2020 by Niklesh Jain (hi)
Praggnanandhaa shows his phenomenal knowledge and skills on his 15th birthday

@ 11/08/2020 by Sagar Shah (en)
Lucena in Lockdown #8: The boy next door

@ 03/05/2020 by Avathanshu Bhat (en)
Praggnanandhaa wins the TOISA 2019 for best chess player of the year

@ 07/03/2020 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa's love for chess

@ 24/01/2020 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanandhaa wins the London Chess Classic FIDE Open 2019

@ 07/12/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Which is the most popular chess video on the internet?

@ 27/04/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Ice cool Praggnanandhaa beats Fire on Board Alexei Shirov at Prague Challengers 2019

@ 12/03/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
Praggnanadhaa beats Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun in Prague

@ 11/03/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)
What happened when Gukesh and Pragg visited Vishy Anand's home in Chennai

@ 07/02/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)

Contact Us