Praggu and Vaishali become first-ever brother-sister Grandmasters

Wednesday 06th December 2023 05:26 EST

Chennai girl R Vaishali, who had earlier sealed a spot for the women’s Candidates tournament, made history by becoming the first brother-sister duo with R Praggnanandhaa to do so, is now the third Indian woman to become a Grandmaster.

With two consecutive victories in the ongoing Llobregat Open tournament in Spain, Vaishali steered past the 2500-mark Elo rating to reach the milestone that Koneru Humpy and D Harika did before her. According to Chessbase India, a prominent chess website, Vaishali and Prag are the first-ever brother-sister pair to be GMs.

Vaishali achieved her first GM norm in 2019 and took three years to win the second norm in 2022. And, finally, after a year later she obtained her third and final norm in the Qatar Open in October. Vaishali’s coach RB Ramesh, who has played a pivotal role in her career so far, was a proud man now. “Vaishali’s ambition for many years was to become a GM and it has happened now, so I am very happy about it. It is not easy to achieve this and only a few women have managed to do this world over. Having qualified for the Candidates, winning the FIDE Grand Swiss ahead of so many strong players, and now this, she is in very good form,” Ramesh said. The 22-year-old broke India’s 12-year wait to find its third woman Grandmaster. She also became India’s 84th GM and is now the current world No. 11 in women’s ranking with a live rating of 2501.5 and India’s number two after Humpy.

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