Qatar Masters Open 2023: Vaishali Rameshbabu Inches Closer to Making Chess History

Rozana Spokesman  | Amanat Thaper


22-Year-Old Chess Prodigy Gears Up to Become India's Third Female Grandmaster

Qatar Masters Open 2023 Latest News

Qatar Masters Open 2023 Latest News: In a thrilling turn of events at the Qatar Masters Open 2023, Vaishali Rameshbabu, a 22-year-old chess sensation and sibling to the celebrated R Pragnandha, stood just a few points away from etching her name in the annals of Indian chess history as the country's third female Grandmaster (GM).

The Qatar Masters Open 2023 witnessed a momentous occasion as Vaishali, in her quest for chess supremacy, clinched her third and final Grandmaster (GM) norm. Despite a loss in her final round against the legendary GM Grigory Kaidanov, Vaishali's stellar performances throughout the tournament secured her position as the leading female player at this prestigious event.

As the final moves were made on the chessboard, accolades and congratulations poured in for Vaishali. GM Kaidanov, acknowledging the young talent's remarkable achievement in attaining the coveted GM status, expressed his heartfelt admiration for her dedication and prowess on the chessboard. Vaishali's mother, Nagalakshmi, stood proudly by her side as the young Grandmaster signed autographs and engaged in a game of chess with her sibling, Praggnanandhaa.

With the Grandmaster title within her grasp, Vaishali now holds the title of GM-elect, solidifying her position as one of India's brightest chess prospects. Currently boasting a live rating of 2467.7, she stands merely 32.3 Elo points away from becoming India's third female Grandmaster, following in the illustrious footsteps of chess luminaries Koneru Hampi and Harika Dronavali.

India last celebrated the coronation of a female Grandmaster in 2011 when Harika secured the prestigious title. Prior to that, Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi came close to fulfilling the GM criteria but narrowly missed the 2500 rating mark. A twelve-year hiatus later, the Indian chess community is now eagerly anticipating Vaishali's impending entry into the elite realm of women chess grandmasters.

Vaishali's remarkable journey in the world of chess has been intricately intertwined with that of her brother, Praggnanandhaa. The sibling duo has consistently achieved parallel success, clinching matching medals in prestigious events, such as double bronze at the Olympiad and double silver at the Asian Games.

Chess was introduced to Vaishali by her father, Ramesh Babu, an ardent chess enthusiast himself. Recognizing his daughter's extraordinary potential, he initiated her chess training at the tender age of five. Vaishali's progress was nothing short of meteoric as she triumphed in numerous state and national-level tournaments within her age group.

Reflecting on her chess journey, Vaishali noted, "I used to watch TV a lot in my childhood. So, my parents sent me to a chess class. In the very first event, I received an award for being the youngest participant. Since then, chess became an integral part of my life. My younger brother is my greatest strength. He resolves all my chess-related queries. Of course, we have our disagreements, but playing chess together is fascinating, and I learn a lot from him."

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