Pranesh becomes India’s 79th chess Grandmaster

Seeded 22nd, the Indian made a clean sweep of the field at Rilton Cup to clinch the title on Thursday.

M. Pranesh crossed the 2500-rating threshold with the win at Rilton Cup.

M. Pranesh crossed the 2500-rating threshold with the win at Rilton Cup. | Photo Credit: VELANKANNI RAJ

Seeded 22nd, the Indian made a clean sweep of the field at Rilton Cup to clinch the title on Thursday.

M. Pranesh clinched the Rilton Cup title here to become India’s 79th Chess Grandmaster. The Rilton Cup is the first tournament of the FIDE circuit.

The 16-year-old Pranesh crossed the 2500-rating threshold and became a GM, having completed his three norms before the Rilton Cup. To become a GM, a player has to secure three GM norms and cross the live rating of 2,500 Elo points. Seeded 22nd, the Indian made a clean sweep of the field in Stockholm, winning eight games and finishing a full point ahead of IM Kaan Kucuksari (Sweden) and GM Nikita Meshkovs (Latvia) as the tournament concluded late on Thursday.

He topped the standings with eight points.

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Tamil Nadu player Pranesh topped the charts in the tournament, which brought together 136 players representing 29 national federations. Compatriot R. Raja Rithvik, a GM, finished eighth with six points.

Pranesh is now the early leader of the FIDE Circuit with 6.8 circuit points that he gets for this victory. The one who accumulates the most points by the end of the year qualifies for the 2024 FIDE Candidates.

He is trained by renowned coach R. B. Ramesh, who said, “Pranesh is a very practical player. Hard working, raw talent... his openings are not that good but his middle-game and end-game skills are quite good.” The All India Chess Federation congratulated Pranesh and said on its Twitter page: “Congratulations to Pranesh M. for winning the Rilton Cup at Stockholm, the first tournament of the FIDE Circuit and also becoming the 79th Grandmaster of the country!”

Nineteen-year-old Koustav Chatterjee had recently become the country’s 78th Grandmaster during the National Senior Chess Championship.

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