Tamil Nadu's M. Pranesh aims to become a Grandmaster

Sponsorship is still an issue for Pranesh especially when he travels abroad with either of his parents.

Pranesh’s immediate target is to become a GM. “I don’t know how long it will take, but I want to become one soon,” he says.   -  Special Arrangement

Age: 14

Discipline: Chess

From: Sivaganga district in Tamil Nadu

Beginning: A contemporary of R. Praggnanandhaa and D. Gukesh, M. Pranesh has carved a niche for himself. Hailing from Sekkalai Kottai, a small village in Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu, the 14-year-old has fought against the odds to make a mark, by becoming an International Master recently. Pranesh already has one GM norm.

He started learning chess at the age of six from his mother K. Manjula, an anganwadi worker.

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Living in a rented house in the second floor, Pranesh was a naughty kid indulging in pranks with his elder brother. After repeated complaints from his neighbour, Pranesh’s parents settled on chess.

Seeing his interest grow and after a series of fine performances at district and state-level tournaments, R. Munirethinam, Pranesh’s father, an accountant in a textile shop in Karaikudi, took him to Chennai. Pranesh’s first coach was S. Athulan until he was 10 years. However, it was under GM R. B. Ramesh that Pranesh’s career took flight.

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Not fluent in English, Pranesh had his share of difficulties in his early travelling days.

“In the Asian under-five schools championship in New Delhi, Pranesh coughed and the arbiter asked whether he wanted to resign. And he did so. Actually, Pranesh thought ‘resign’ meant ‘to take rest and come back,’” recollects Munirethinam.

Sponsorship is still an issue for Pranesh especially when he travels abroad with either of his parents. He is supported by his school Shri Vidhyaa Giri MHSS, coach R. B. Ramesh and Microsense.

Pranesh says defeating GM Tukhaev Adam of Ukraine in the Delhi Open was one of the highlights of his nascent career. “My attack came off really well,” he says.

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Another big victory was at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow when he defeated GM Savchenkov Boris of Russia in 21 moves. “I read his previous games and that helped,” he says.

During the lockdown wing to the coronavirus pandemic, Pranesh took part in nearly 25 online tournaments and has enjoyed playing them. “Playing online is fun and good in some ways. But it can’t match a real physical game,” he says.

Pranesh and Ramesh...a successful combination.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Aim: Pranesh’s immediate target is to become a GM. “I don’t know how long it will take, but I want to become one soon,” he says.

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Strong point: Pranesh is determined and gets things done quietly. A soft spoken kid, he loves reading books on chess.

Career graph

National under-7 schools championship in Chennai in 2013: Gold medal.

National under-13 schools championship in Bhubaneswar in 2018: Gold.

National under-13 championship in Visakhapatnam in 2019: Gold.

The Belt and Road International schools under-12 team championship in 2017 in Chongqing, China: Gold.

Abu Dhabi International junior (under-16) championship in 2019: Gold.

Chennai Open in 2019: First IM norm.

Delhi Open in 2020: Second IM norm. He also got his first GM norm.

Aeroflot Open in Moscow in 2020: Third and final IM norm.

 

What they say: R. B Ramesh, coach: “He (Pranesh) is a very talented and hardworking boy. He comes from a tough economic background. It will be great if someone comes forward to support him financially.”