In a groundbreaking accomplishment for Indian chess, Vaishali Rameshbabu, a 22-year-old prodigious talent, secured the prestigious title of Grandmaster at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain. This remarkable feat places her in the esteemed company of chess luminaries Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli, making Vaishali only the third woman from India to achieve Grandmaster status.
What sets Vaishali apart is not only her individual success but also the historic milestone she shares with her younger brother, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa. Together, they have etched their names in chess history as the first-ever brother-sister pair to both hold the coveted Grandmaster titles. Additionally, the dynamic duo has achieved another unprecedented milestone by becoming the first brother-sister combination to qualify for the prestigious Candidates tournament.
The title of Grandmaster is the highest accolade a chess player can attain, and it is bestowed by the International Chess Federation, FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs), the governing body headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Vaishali’s achievement adds another layer of glory to the Rameshbabu family, as her younger brother, Praggnanandhaa, made headlines earlier this year by becoming the world’s youngest player to reach the Chess World Cup final. In a riveting semi-final clash, Praggnanandhaa secured a thrilling victory over USA’s Fabiano Caruana in tie-breaks. Notably, he is the second Indian, following in the footsteps of chess legend Viswanathan Anand, to reach the final in Chess World Cup history.
The remarkable journey of Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa continues to inspire chess enthusiasts globally, as the sibling duo sets new benchmarks and paves the way for the future of Indian chess on the international stage. Their dedication, skill, and historic achievements mark a golden era for Indian chess, leaving an indelible imprint on the sport’s landscape.