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Vaishali Rameshbabu becomes India's third female chess grandmaster

Published at :December 2, 2023 at 5:16 PM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:10 AM
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(Courtesy : FIDE/Ismael Nieto)

Ankhi Dutta

She is also the 84th Grandmaster of India.

In a significant milestone for Indian chess, Vaishali Rameshbabu has become the country’s third female Grandmaster. This achievement was realized during the IV Elllobregat Open, where she surpassed a rating of 2500. Vaishali’s ascension to the Grandmaster title ends a 12-year hiatus for India, placing her alongside the esteemed Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli as the third Indian woman to hold this prestigious title.

Vaishali’s journey in chess has been nothing short of remarkable. From becoming a Woman International Master at 15, a Woman Grandmaster at 17, and an International Master at 20, her trajectory has been consistently upward. Notably, she is also a two-time Youth Chess Champion.

What sets this achievement apart is that Vaishali and her younger brother, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, have made history as the first-ever sibling pair to both achieve the title of Grandmaster. This accomplishment marks a significant milestone in the world of chess.

Vaishali’s path to the Grandmaster title was paved with victories. Her journey began with her first norm at the Xtracon Open in 2019, followed by a second at the 8th Fischer Memorial in 2022. The culmination of her quest came at the Qatar Masters in 2023, where she sealed her third and final GM Norm.

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After Harika Dronavalli became the second Indian woman to achieve the GM title in 2011, it took 12 years for another Indian woman to reach this milestone. Now, Vaishali stands as the third Indian woman to become a Grandmaster.

Currently, GM Vaishali Rameshbabu ranks as World no. 11 and India no. 2 in Women’s Chess, with a live rating of 2501.5. Her achievements this year have been extraordinary, earning her third GM Norm, claiming victory at the FIDE Women’s Grand Swiss, and securing a spot in the Women’s Candidates 2024. Attaining the Grandmaster title is the perfect conclusion to her exceptional year.

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