Vaishali becomes GM, joins Praggnanandhaa to form world's first brother-sister Grandmasters duo
Indian chess ace R Vaishali joined younger sibling R Praggnanandhaa to become the world's first-ever brother-sister Grandmasters duo and only the third woman from the country to earn the GM title, at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain.
Vaishali achieved the feat after crossing 2500 ELO rating points on Friday. She is the country's 84th GM.
The 22-year old Chennai-based Vaishali crossed the 2500 mark at the tournament in Spain where she defeated Turkish FM Tamer Tarik Selbes in the second round.
She obtained her third GM norm at the Qatar Masters tournament in October and needed to increase her ELO rating.
They also became the first-ever brother-sister duo to make the Candidates, the qualifying event for the World Championship match. The Candidates will be held in Toronto in April.
Her younger brother Praggnanandhaa had got the GM title in 2018, when he was just 12.
Koneru Humpy and D Harika are the two other women GMs from India.
Humpy was the world's youngest female player ever, when she became a GM in 2002, at the age of 15.
Chess legend Viswanathan Anand congratulated Vaishali on social networking platform 'X'.
"She worked very hard the last few months and this augurs well as she gets ready for the candidates. Her parents and just maybe the competition at home should be congratulated.
@Rameshchess & Aarthie for being her rock," Anand wrote.
Vaishali was introduced to chess by her father, Rameshbabu, who himself was a chess player.