Viswanathan Anand is elated with the qualification of 3 Indians in FIDE Candidates
R Vaishali and Vidit Gujrathi are the latest Indian chess players to secure a spot each in the FIDE Candidates after R Praggnanandhaa, who qualified for the 2024 tournament in August.
Legendary chess player Viswanathan Anand is elated with the qualification of three Indian players in the FIDE Candidates.
R Vaishali and Vidit Gujrathi are the latest Indian chess players to secure a spot each in the Candidates, scheduled to be held in Toronto in 2024. Vaishali and Gujrathi earned their places at the Candidates by winning the women's and men's FIDE Grand Swiss chess titles last week.
Vaishali's brother R Praggnanandhaa became the first Indian player to secure a spot in the Candidates after his silver medal-winning performance at the FIDE World Cup in August since Anand, who competed at the Candidates last time in 2016.
This will be the first time three chess players from India will compete in the prestigious Candidates tournament, which determines the challenger for the World Chess Championship.
"It is fantastic. I was the only one playing in the Candidates in the past," Anand was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express at a programme at MOP Vaishnav College in Chennai.
"This is the first time it has happened. In fact, it was a late surprise. Until a couple of weeks ago, Praggnanandhaa was the only one and now suddenly, there are three Indians. It's wonderful to have such a significant representation," he added.
Vaishali qualified for the Women's Candidates at the FIDE Grand Swiss and scripted history, as she and her brother Praggnanadhaa became the first sibling pair in chess history to qualify for Candidates. International Masters Vaishali is now three points away from obtaining the Grandmaster title.
Hailing Vaishali, Anand said, "Within Women's rankings, she is just outside the top 10—the third Indian woman to qualify for the candidate's title."
"I believe Vaishali will work hard. She has training events like the World Rapid Blitz and the Tata Steel Chess Tournament coming up. She will have enough time to prepare for the Candidates Tournament in April," the 53-year-old added.