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R Vaishali becomes third women grandmaster of India

R Vaishali crossed 2500 rating points to become third women Grandmaster of India after fulfilling all the requirements.

R Vaishali becomes third women grandmaster of India
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R Vaishali beat Grandmaster Tan Zhongyi at the FIDE Grand Swiss 2023 on Saturday to qualify for the FIDE Candidates. (Photo credit: FIDE Chess)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2 Dec 2023 6:40 AM GMT

R Vaishali crossed the 2500 rating points to become the third Indian women's Grandmaster and 84th overall in India at the El Llobregat Open in Spain on Friday.

Vaishali, who attained her third Grandmaster norm at the Qatar Masters 2023, won two games back-to-back at the tournament to become India's latest GM.

After Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli, Vaishali is the third-ever women Grandmaster of India. She ended a long wait of 12 years after Harika became GM in 2011.

Vaishali scored her first GM norm in the Xtracon Open 2019. Her second GM norm came by winning the 8th Fischer Memorial in 2022, and she scored her third final GM norm at Qatar Masters 2023.

Talking about her achievement, Vaishali said, "I am very happy to complete the GM title. Becoming GM has been my goal since I started playing chess."

"I was excited knowing that I am close to my goal but I am more focused on the tournament. I have qualified for Candidates and I am looking forward to that tournament," she added.

Earlier last month, Vaishali won the Grand Swiss Open and gained a major rating, and also qualified for the Candidates tournament making her the first Indian woman to achieve the feat.

With this Vaishali has become India's number two taking over Harika Dronavalli and world number eleven.

Vaishali joins Praggnanandhaa to become the first Grandmaster siblings

22-year-old Vaishali joined her younger brother R Praggnanandhaa to become the first Grandmaster siblings. 18-year-old Pragg became Grandmaster in 2018.

Vaishali was the first one from the family to engage in chess and the duo started playing the sport to distract themselves from television.

Coached by Grandmaster RB Ramesh, both siblings started their careers under his watchful guidance. Earlier this year, the duo became the first siblings to qualify for the Candidates tournament.

Pragg qualified after finishing runner-up in the Chess World Cup, while Vaishali earned her qualification after winning the Grand Swiss Open.

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