Chess star R Vaishali became grandmaster after crossing 2500 ELO rating points on Friday, December 1. Vaishali, who happens to be grandmaster Praggnanandhaa’s elder sister, achieved the feat at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain where she defeated Turkey’s FM Tamer Tarik Selbes in the second round. Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa have now become the first brother-sister duo to attain the GM status.
The 22-year-old Vaishali had obtained her third GM norm in October at the Qatar Masters tournament and needed to increase her ELO rating. Vaishali became the 84th Indian to achieve the chess grandmaster title and only the third woman after Koneru Humpy and D Harika.
Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa will also become the first brother-sister duo to compete at the Candidates tournament in 2024. Praggnanandhaa had attained the Grandmaster status in 2018 when he was just 12. Humy had done it at 15 in 2002 and was the world’s youngest woman to become GM.
“I am very happy to finally completed the title. It’s just two rounds. I am also focusing on the tournament. But I am really happy with the GM title,” Vaishali told chess.com
“I’ve finally achieved a goal of mine since I started playing chess. I was so close to it so, I was really excited but there was some pressure as well. My game was not so good in the middle but somehow, I managed to win,” she added.
Indian chess legend Viswanathan Anand took to X (formerly Twitter) to congratulate Vaishali on becoming a GM. Anand mentioned that Vaishali put in a lot of effort in the last few months and this title is a result of that, which keeps her in good stead ahead of the Candidates tournament.
“Congratulations to @chessvaishali for becoming a GM. She worked very hard the last few months and this augurs well as she gets ready for the candidates. Her parents and just maybe the competition at home should be congratulated. @Rameshchess & Aarthie for being her rock,” he wrote.
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