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Pradhyumna Kumar Kothapalli wins big and remains humble

True success has less to do with luck and everything to do with persistence and perseverance. Ardrey Kell High senior Pradhyumna Kumar Kothapalli is a testament to that, being an outstanding student and a national chess champion. 

Pradhyumna has been infatuated with the game of chess ever since his father took him to a tournament as a child. He quickly transitioned from being an audience member to a chess player by the time he reached fifth grade. Seven years later, he is still mastering his chess skills while balancing his school life. 

Despite the workload, Pradhyumna was able to stay on top, earning the 2021 National K-12 Championship chess title. The win did not come easily. Pradhyumna said he was “so close so many times,” and it took years of determination and practice to receive the honor. 

Even after such a prestigious win, Pradhyumna remains driven and humble. Daniel Harabin, his forensic and physical science teacher, bonded with him over good conversations and homemade idli, but said it was only in casual discussion that he learned of Pradhyumna’s big win. 

“It wasn’t until after some prodding later that he informed me it was a national competition,” Harabin said. 

Pradhyumna’s coolness keeps him grounded and poised for his next major move, which includes graduation and attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he will study computer science. He aspires to become the owner of a software development company and, of course, a chess grandmaster.

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