Meet iconic Indian chess players

Every year 20e July marks the celebration of International Chess Day in honor of the founding of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). The motto for International Chess Day 2021 is ‘teach someone to play chess’.

It is an indoor sport that is played nationally and internationally due to its popularity. The game is a good mix of sportsmanship, logic and artistry and not only brought people together, but also developed their minds and strategies.

Did you know?

Chess is one of the oldest games in the world and is believed to have originated in India during the Gupta period, when it was popular as “Chaturanga”. It then spread to Persia and then to other parts of the world.

It was also called the “game of kings” because it was only played by kings in the past.

5,949 is the number of possible moves in a game of chess.

On the occasion of International Chess Day, we have compiled a list of five of the most outstanding chess grandmasters of Indian origin.

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand is arguably the first person we think of when discussing chess, and for good reason. It is an icon that has been the pride of India on several occasions. He was the first Indian to win the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000. Known for his tactical moves, Anand achieved everything a chess player could dream of.

He is the world champion in fast chess and has won the world championship in four events. He won several other accolades in his name. Recently the 18e July 2021, the Grand Master wins the Sparkassen Trophy. He has an IQ over 150.

Koneru Humpy

This 34-year-old grandmaster is one of the best in India and has been ranked No. 2 in the world. She has an endless list of achievements and had won the title of Grandmaster in 2002, which made her the youngest woman to achieve the feat. She also won the Cairns Cup 2020 – the strongest tournament in the history of women’s chess. Humpy was honored with the Arjuna Prize and the Padmashree.

Abhimanyu Mishra

This 12-year-old Indian boy from the United States won the title of youngest international master at the age of 10. Abhimanyu has been credited with many accomplishments to his credit, making him a chess prodigy.

Harikrishna Pentala

Harikrishna Pentala from Andhra Pradesh is one of the greatest chess players of Indian origin to go down in history. He has been credited with several accomplishments such as being the Commonwealth Champion (2001) or winning the Asian Individual Championship (2011). Some of Harikrishna’s iconic moments include representing India 7 times in total at the Chess Olympics (2000-12) and being among the top ten players in the world in November 2016 with a FIDE rating of 2768.

Nihal Sarin

Hailed by Viswanathan Anand himself as a potential future world champion, Nihal Sarin can certainly be considered a prodigy. He has already made a name for himself in the chess community and is the third youngest player to cross the Elo rating of 2600. The 17-year-old earned the title of Grandmaster of Chess in 2018.

Honorable mention

Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi

Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi is the first Indian female player to win the FIDE Master and Grandmaster titles and won the most number of medals at the Chess Olympics compared to any other Indian chess player. She has been honored with several accolades and received the Arjuna Award in 2001.

Read also : Assam connection of Dr Talimeren Ao, flag bearer of the first Olympic Games of independent India

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