Vaishali third woman from India to become Grandmaster- The New Indian Express



Express News Service

CHENNAI: On the flight to Hangzhou for the Asian Games, R Vaishali had turned to Srinath Narayanan about an issue.

The 22-year-old from Chennai, who’s the elder sister of prodigy R Praggnanandhaa, was feeling she had been hovering around the 2450 mark for a long time. Srinath, who had faced the same issue back when he was an active player on the circuit, told her about his experiences. 

That small conversation 40,000 feet in the air has had the desired effect. As India went to sleep late on Friday, Vaishali, after moving her queen to c7, forced her opponent Tamer Selbes to resign. In the process, she crossed the magical figure of 2500 rating points to become a Grandmaster (she had already earned her third and final GM norm at the Qatar Masters in October).

It was the latest in a long line of wins that has sent her soaring in recent months. After coming back from the Asian Games, she won the Grand Swiss to qualify for the Candidates next year. Then came the third and final GM norm. Now this. 

“Becoming a GM has been my goal since I started playing chess,” she said after the second round game at the El Llobregat Open in Spain. “I was very excited but also felt some pressure. I’m very happy I finally managed to complete the title.” 

Coach R B Ramesh, who’s currently taking chess classes in Norway, shared his two cents with this daily. “Her ambition for many years was to become a GM and it happened now. It’s not easy to achieve this and only a few women have managed to do this the world over.”

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