India’s Chess Prodigies: A Sister-Brother Grandmaster Duo

India's image as a country of prodigies is cemented as it continues to foster and recognise the extraordinary abilities of its young minds. Many prodigies from India have demonstrated outstanding abilities in various fields. A sister-brother duo from Tamil Nadu, who have evolved into young chess prodigies, find a place of pride in this trend. Vaishali Rameshbabu, an Indian chess prodigy, won the grandmaster title by achieving 2,500 International Chess Federation (FIDE) ranking points at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain in November 2023. With this, she became the third Indian female player, after Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli, to win this esteemed title. Vaishali, a chess prodigy from Tamil Nadu, and her 18-year-old brother Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa are the first-ever grandmaster siblings in chess history. Their chess journeys are connected. The two have regularly had parallel successes, taking home medals in the same events across various sports, including double bronze at the Olympics and double silver at the Asian Games.

Praggnanandhaa, born in 2005, has become a chess sensation. Praggnanandhaa became the fourth-youngest grandmaster in chess history by his constant on-board performance at twelve years, ten months, and thirteen days old. In the process, he became the youngest international master in history in 2016 at the age of ten, won the World Youth Chess Championships under-8 championship in 2013, and became a grandmaster in 2018. With a FIDE rating of 2743 as of December 2023, Praggnanandhaa currently ranks 12th in the world and has established himself as a formidable player in the chess world. Praggnanandhaa has consistently demonstrated exceptional defensive abilities as well as controlled gameplay.

Vaishali, on the other hand, is the kind of relentless attacker that can sacrifice multiple pieces, play a line that chess algorithms don't particularly like, weave a web of tactical intricacies, and suffocate the opposition. At the Women's Grand Swiss, she defeated International Master Leya Garifullina in this precise fashion. In another game at the same competition, she won over former world champion Mariya Muzychuk in 23 aggressive moves.

The fact that the country's most promising male and female chess players are from the same family is quite unusual. Both siblings have shown incredible dedication and perseverance while playing this game, which has helped them achieve all of these awards. Along with their hard effort, their parents' dedication and support have helped them rise in chess. Mother Nagalakshmi is the ever-supportive vigilante who travels with both children to and from lengthy competitions across the globe, while father Rameshbabu manages the logistics and travel arrangements. The achievements of this unique sister-brother duo are the kind of rare and motivational tale that chess fans look forward to. It also inspires the nation's younger generation to succeed in whatever field they choose.

(The paper is the author’s individual scholastic articulation. The author certifies that the article/paper is original in content, unpublished and it has not been submitted for publication/web upload elsewhere, and that the facts and figures quoted are duly referenced, as needed, and are believed to be correct). (The paper does not necessarily represent the organisational stance... More >>


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