Fact Check: Did India Today photoshop vibhuti from chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa's photo?

A post is going viral on social media with the claim that India Today photoshopped chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa's photo and removed vibhuti (sacred ash) from his forehead.

By Sabya Singh  Published on  26 May 2022 1:53 PM GMT
Fact Check: Did India Today photoshop vibhuti from chess prodigy Praggnanandhaas photo?

Hyderabad: A post is going viral on social media with the claim that India Today photoshopped chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa's photo and removed vibhuti (sacred ash) from his forehead.


Click here to view the post.

Fact Check:

The claim is false.

NewsMeter conducted a reverse image search and found a tweet by International Chess Federation (FIDE) from 23 August 2020. It had posted a photo of Praggnanandhaa. Here, too, the young chess player is seen without vibhuti (sacred ash) on his forehead.

We also found a News18 article from August 2020 titled "R Praggnanandhaa, Divya Deshmukh Shine as India Stuns China to Qualify for FIDE Online Chess Olympiad Quarters." It had published the same photo of Praggnanandhaa as seen on India Today. The photo credit below the picture was given to FIDE Twitter.

Many news organisations had carried a similar photo and given the photo courtesy to FIDE Twitter.


Further, we found news articles that had published Praggnandhaa's photos where we noticed vibhuti on his forehead. However, it is faint and we can hardly see it. We closely observed the viral picture and found that the sacred ash is applied on his forehead but it is very faint. (Read more here and here)

Below is the comparison between an image carried by Mid-day (left) and one published by India Today.


The India Today article clearly gave photo courtesy to FIDE Twitter and didn't photoshop the vibhuti from his forehead. Hence, the claim is false.


NewsMeter also reached out to the International chess federation said, "That photo on the left was used in a tweet by us, back in 2020.

It wasn't taken by us, and. we would like to stress, that it was not edited or altered by us in any way

Claim Review:India Today photoshopped the vibhuti from chess prodigy Praggnanandhaa’s photo.
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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