Qatar Master 2023 gave some proud and spellbound moments for India as the 22-year-old Vaishali Rameshbabu, sister of R Praggnanandhaa, won the third and final Grandmaster (GM) norm. Despite losing the final round of the match against the famous GM Gregory Kaidanov, Vaishali Rameshbabu won the hearts of everyone with her brilliant and remarkable performance at such a young age.
As the game came to an end, Vaishali earned huge congratulations from everyone, and she made India proud by giving her best performance. In fact, the winner of the match, Kaidanoc himself, appreciated her for showing her unbeatable skills till the finals. We can see Vaishali’s mother standing by her side all along, enjoying the glimpses of her giving autographs to everyone with pride in her eyes, just like she used to do when Praggnanandhaa used to play.
After winning her GM norm, Vaishali now holds the title of GM-elect, further strengthening her position as one of India’s brightest and most popular chess prospects. Currently, bragging a live rating of 2467.7, she stands only 32.3 Elo points away from becoming India’s third female Grandmaster, following Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli.
India’s last female grandmaster was announced in the year 2011 when Harika achieved the prestigious title. Following her, Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman also earned three GM norms, but unfortunately, she couldn’t reach the 2500 mark rank. Now, nearly after 12 years, we are getting India’s third female chess enthusiast who is on her way to making our nation proud.
Vaishali Rameshbabu’s journey of becoming a Chess Player
Vaishali’s journey of becoming a successful chess player interfaced with her brother Praggnanandhaa. Both are supremely talented and have given their best performances till date, such as the double Bronze in the Olympiad and double Silver in the Asian Games.
Vaishali Rameshbabu acquired an interest in Chess when her father, Rameshbabu, started to teach her the techniques needed during chess playing. Recognizing his daughter’s potential, he put her for chess coaching from the age of five. She showed immense progress and started winning many state and national-level tournaments.
As she showed immense progress, her talent didn’t remain unnoticed, and coach RB Ramesh took her under his wing and became her mentor. Under his mentorship, Vaishali’s chess skills flourished, and she started to participate not only in national tournaments but internationally, too.
In 2015, Vaishali Rameshbabu became famous by winning the Asian Youth Chess Championships in the under-14 girls’ category. It was also during this time that she received the title of International Master (IM). Her performance was brilliant, but compared to her brother, she fell a little short of success.