Young prodigy Punithamalar Rajashekar from Malaysia broke the record for the fastest time to arrange a chess set blindfolded, proving that she can break a record with her eyes – quite literally – closed.
She broke the previous record by achieving the jaw-dropping time of 45.72 seconds.
The talented girl has won several awards, including Asia’s Outstanding Child Award of the Year 2022-2023, and has showcased her skills in various competitions, such as Malaysia’s Kids Got Talent.
The record attempt took place at Punithamalar’s school, with members of the Parents and Teachers Association and the school management all there to witness the event.
You can see the attempt here:
As one might expect, Punithamalar’s passion with chess goes beyond arranging the chess set in record-breaking time. She is also an excellent chess player, who started playing when she was five years old.
She is the best player at her school, which she represented at a district chess competition.
She also regularly participates in nationwide tournaments and is a FIDE (International Chess Federation) registered member.
“My dad is my coach,” she told us, “and we play together almost every day.”
Punithamalar got the idea to attempt a world record after watching a documentary about extraordinary human achievements.
“Seeing people push their limits and accomplish incredible feats really inspired me,” she explained. “[…] I was particularly drawn to the idea of setting a personal goal and pushing myself beyond my limits, and attempting a world record seemed like the perfect way to do that.”
“I had already participated in various events such as Kids Got Talent, and felt that I wanted to do more to get recognition. My father suggested that I should focus on my passion, so my family and I decided I should break this particular record.”
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Regarding her training for the attempt, she commented: “I studied videos of previous record holders to understand their techniques and strategies.
I began my preparation 4 months before the actual attempt, with a combination of physical and mental training.
Her coach dad supported her throughout the entire process, whilst her family and teachers motivated her during the toughest training sessions.
Besides playing chess, Punithamalar also likes to memorize facts and pictures, and she has participated in various school competitions for storytelling and public speaking.
Her favourite subject is maths and, when she grows up, she wants to become a space scientist.
On breaking a world record, she said that it was a life-changing experience, that she felt “pride and uniqueness”, and that she hopes it will inspire others to reach for their own extraordinary goals.
Lastly, the young chess champion revealed that she intends to attempt another record in the blindfolded category!
We cannot wait to see what record young Punithamalar will break next.
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