Sixteen-year-old P. Iniyan of Tamil Nadu, hailing from Erode, became India's 61st Grandmaster after achieving the required Elo rating at the Noisiel Open chess tournament in France on Tuesday.

Though he had got the required three GM norms, he couldn't get his Elo rating to 2500 points, which is an another pre-requisite. When he did it in Noisiel, it came as a huge relief. Iniyan crossed 2500 with a win over the top seeded GM Sergey Fedorchuk of Ukraine in the sixth round.

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"[It was a] very tough for period for me in the last eight months. My rating was fluctuating between 2485 and 2495. I am relieved now," Iniyan said. "Now I can focus on further developing my game."

In fact, in the Aeroflot chess tournament in Moscow recently, Iniyan played  well, (one win, six draws and two losses) to get 9.5 rating points and needed only 2.5 points in the last round to cross 2500, but he couldn't.

"What Iniyan has achieved is significant. It will certainly be a boost for players who don't hail from metros or big cities," said K. Panneerselvam, Iniyan's father.

Iniyan said crossing 2600 will be his next ambition. A Std. XI student of Indian Public school (Erode), Iniyan is coached by K. Visweswaran (Chennai). He is sponsored by Olirum Erodu Foundation.