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64 Grandmasters of Indian Chess History

With Prithu Gupta winning the Grand Master title on 18th of July 2019, Indian chess got its 64th GM. A very symbolic day as the chessboard is made up of 64 squares and we had one GrandMaster for each square on the chessboard.

India stands 5th in the World with the most number of GrandMasters

CountriesAverageGMsIMsTotal Titled
United States of America2714101163813

With Viswanathan/Vishy Anand becoming the only GM in 1988 and 31 years later Prithu Gupta from Delhi becoming the 64th GM, India has come a lot far in the game of Chess, this also shows how the recent years have indeed seen a flurry of youngsters attaining their GM norms and joining a very elite club.
64 Grandmasters of Indian Chess History
Viswanathan Anand (First GM of India)

Chennai's contribution to Indian Chess

Country’s first International Master, Manuel Aaron, first Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, the first female GrandMaster Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi, and the first International Arbiter Venkatachalam Kameswaran are all from Chennai.

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (born 10 August 2005), A chess prodigy, he is the fourth-youngest person ever to achieve the title of GrandMaster (GM) in the world, behind Sergey Karjakin, Gukesh D and Javokhir Sindarov also hails from Chennai.

Till 1997, India had produced only three GrandMasters – Anand (1988), Dibyendu Barua (1991) and Praveen Thipsay (1997).

But starting with K Sasikiran and Abhijit Kunte at the turn of the millennium India has produced close to 50 GrandMasters.

In 1983, a 13-years-old Vishy Anand beat Aaron. It was a passing of the baton in more ways than one. The youngster now set his sights on bigger things and in 1988, when he became India’s first chess GM, "The Genius Kid" became the reason for the next big boost in Chennai. Every generation needs a hero. For Krishnan Sasikiran, Aarthie Ramaswamy and RB Ramesh, Anand was that hero.

Aarthie Ramaswamy became the world junior U-18 champ in 1999. 19-year-old Sasikiran became India’s fifth GM in 2000. And in 2004, Ramesh became India’s 10th GM.

Here below is a list all 64 GMs of India. (Source: ChessBase, Until 20th September 2019)

NameStateAgeYear of becoming GM
1. Viswanathan AnandTamil Nadu491988
2. Dibyendu BaruaWest Bengal531991
3. Pravin ThipsayMaharashtra601997
4. Abhijit KunteMaharashtra422000
5. K SasikiranTamil Nadu382000
6. P HarikrishnaAndhra Pradesh332001
7. K HumpyAndhra Pradesh322002
8. Surya Sekhar GangulyWest Bengal362003
9. Sandipan ChandaWest Bengal362003
10. R B RameshTamil Nadu432004
11. Tejas BakreGujarat382004
12. P Magesh ChandranTamil Nadu362006
13. Deepan ChakravarthyTamil Nadu322006
14. Neelotpal DasWest Bengal372006
15. Parimarjan NegiDelhi262006
16. G N GopalKerala302007
17. Abhijeet GuptaRajasthan302008
18. S Arun PrasadTamil Nadu312008
19. S KidambiTamil Nadu372009
20. R R LaxmanTamil Nadu362009
21. Sriram JhaDelhi432010
22. Deep SenguptaWest Bengal312010
23. B AdhibanTamil Nadu272010
24. S P SethuramanTamil Nadu262011
25. Harika DAndhra Pradesh282011
26. Lalith Babu M RAndhra Pradesh262012
27. Vaibhav SuriDelhi222012
28. M R VenkateshTamil Nadu342012
29. Sahaj GroverDelhi242012
30. Vidit GujrathiMaharashtra252013
31. Shyam Sundar MTamil Nadu272013
32. Akhshayraj KoreMaharashtra312013
33. Vishnu PrasannaTamil Nadu302013
34. Debashis DasOdisha262013
35. Saptarshi Roy ChowdhuryWest Bengal372013
36. Ankit RajparaGujarat252014
37. Aravindh ChithambaramTamil Nadu202015
38. Karthikeyan MuraliTamil Nadu202015
39. Ashwin JayaramTamil Nadu292015
40. Swapnil S DhopadeMaharashtra292015
41. S L NarayananKerala212015
42. Shardul GagareMaharashtra222016
43. Diptayan GhoshWest Bengal212016
44. Priyadharshan KTamil Nadu262016
45. Aryan ChopraDelhi182017
46. Srinath NarayananTamil Nadu252017
47. Himanshu SharmaHaryana362017
48. Anurag MhamalGoa242017
49. Abhimanyu PuranikMaharashtra192017
50. Thejkumar M SKarnataka382017
51. Saptarshi RoyWest Bengal332018
52. R PraggnanandhaaTamil Nadu142018
53. Nihal SarinKerala152018
54. Erigaisi ArjunTelangana162018
55. Karthik VenkataramanTelangana202018
56. Harsha BharathakotiTelangana192018
57. P KarthikeyanTamil Nadu292018
58. Stany G AKarnataka262018
59. Visakh N RTamil Nadu202019
60. Gukesh DTamil Nadu132019
61. P IniyanTamil Nadu172019
62. Swayams MishraOdisha272019
63. Girish KoushikKarnataka222019
64. Prithu GuptaDelhi152019

Timeline of Chess in India

  • 2019, 8th November - Abhimanyu, born on 5th of February 2009, achieved his International Masters title at the age of 10 years, 9 months and 3 days. This is exactly 17 days earlier than Praggnanandhaa. Abhimanyu Mishra is now the youngest IM in the world.
  • 2019, 13th October - 14-year-old R Pragganandhaa won the Gold medal in the under-18 open category in the World Youth Chess Championship


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