Bengaluru, August 13: Barely two months after her younger brother R Praggnanandhaa became India's youngest Grand Master, R Vaishali followed the suit to be crowned Woman Grand Master.
She joins an elite list of Indian women comprising Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli to accomplish the feat.
The 17-year-old from Chennai got her third and final World Grand Master (WGM) norm at the eighth Riga Technical University (RTU) Open chess tournament held in the Latvian city of Riga.
Before featuring at the Latvia event, Vaishali was part of the Indian women's gold-medal winning team in the blitz category of the Asian Nations Cup held in Hamadan, Iran, earlier this month.
Congratulations to the Indian women's team 🇮🇳 on winning the silver medal 🥈 at the Asian Nations Cup ~ Rapid section in Hamadan, Iran 🇮🇷— Chess.com - India (@chesscom_in) July 28, 2018
The Indian team consisted of :
1) GM @HarikaDronavali
2) IM @acciochess
3) IM @EeshaKaravade
4) WIM @chessvaishali
5) WIM Aakansha H pic.twitter.com/C7zhM33J2J
Coach R B Ramesh, who also trains Praggnanandhaa congratulated Vaishali on her achievement.
"Congratulations to Vaishali for becoming India's latest Woman Grand Master! She is sister of Praggnanandhaa!," Ramesh tweeted.
Congratulations to Vaishali for becoming India’s latest Woman Grand Master! She is sister of Praggnanandhaa!— Ramesh RB (@Rameshchess) August 12, 2018
It was pure coincidence that Vaishali had got her second WGM norm at the Gredine Open -- the same tournament that saw her younger sibling create history in the last week of June.
"Just like Praggu (Praggnanandhaa), Vaishali too has been extremely hardworking and talented. She went through a rough patch in the last few years but overcame that by working extra hard on her game. I feel Vaishali's next target should be to become a men's GM," Ramesh was quoted as saying in Times of India daily.
It has been a meteoric rise for Vaishali. Last year, Vaishali shot to limelight after winning the Asian blitz championships at Chengdu, China, where she secured nine points from as many rounds in the competition.
After 12 year old Praggnanandhaa became a Grandmaster 2 months back, his sister Vaishali replicates the feat by becoming a Women GM. It runs in the family! Indian chess is in safe hands! #chess #makeindiaproudhttps://t.co/yEsX8zVBCl— Sanjay R (@vanilla_inferno) August 13, 2018
"I believe Vaishali's confidence will definitely go up after getting this title under her belt. If she continues to work this hard, then I am certain no goal will be too far for her," added Ramesh.