Vaishali becomes India’s third female chess grandmaster

Chennai: Indian chess player R Vaishali earned her grandmaster title by crossing 2,500 International Chess Federation (FIDE) ranking points at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain, becoming only the third Indian female player to do so.

Earlier having fulfilled three GM norms, Vaishali completed the one final requirement on Friday by attaining the required number of rating points.

She is the third female player to attain the grandmaster title, besides Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli. She has now joined the company of over 80 Indian chess players who have been given this title, including legendary Vishwanathan Anand, Humpy, Dronavalli, Dibyendu Barua, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa etc.

Vaishali is also the sister of young 18-year-old chess sensation Praggnanandhaa, making them the first-ever grandmaster siblings in the game’s history.

State Chief Minister MK Stalin congratulated the duo on their achievement.

“Huge congrats, @chessvaishali, on becoming the third female Grandmaster from India and the first from Tamil Nadu! 2023 has been splendid for you. Alongside your brother @rpragchess, you’ve made history as the first sister-brother duo to qualify for the #Candidates tournament. Adding to the glory, you are now the first-ever Grandmaster siblings. We’re immensely proud of your achievements, and your remarkable journey is an inspiration to aspiring chess enthusiasts and a testament to women’s empowerment in our state! #TamilNaduPride@Udhaystalin @ChessbaseIndia @FIDE_chess,” tweeted Stalin from his official X (formerly Twitter) handle.