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Tamil Nadu’s Shyaamnikhil Becomes India’s 85th Chess Grandmaster

In a remarkable achievement, P Shyaamnikhil from Tamil Nadu has etched his name in the annals of Indian chess history by becoming the country’s 85th Grandmaster (GM). The 31-year-old chess prodigy, who embarked on his journey at the tender age of eight, finally secured the coveted third and final GM norm at the prestigious 2024 Dubai Police Masters Chess Tournament.

Conquering the Ultimate Challenge

Before the start of the Dubai event, Shyaamnikhil needed just one win and eight draws to attain the coveted GM title. Although he had accumulated the required 2500 ELO rating points and secured two GM norms way back in 2012, the elusive third norm eluded him for over a decade. Nevertheless, his unwavering determination and skills ultimately paved the way for his triumphant ascent to the Grandmaster’s ranks.

Early Brilliance and Relentless Pursuit

Born in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, in 1992, Shyaamnikhil’s chess journey began when he relocated to Chennai to pursue his passion. His talent was evident from an early age, as he earned the International Master (IM) title in 2011 and secured his first GM norm at the Mumbai Mayor’s Cup the same year. The second GM norm followed at the Indian Championship, setting the stage for his ultimate achievement.

Decoding the Chess Titles

The Grandmaster and International Master titles are among the highest accolades in the world of chess, awarded by the esteemed World Chess Federation (FIDE). To become a GM, a male player must earn at least a 2500 FIDE Elo rating and achieve three Grandmaster’s norms in international competitions, while women must attain a 2300 Elo rating and three Women Grandmaster’s norms.

India’s Chess Prowess

Shyaamnikhil’s accomplishment adds to India’s growing chess legacy, which includes illustrious names like Vishwanathan Anand, the country’s first GM in 1988, and Koneru Humpy, the first Indian woman to earn the Women’s GM title. With three female GMs – Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, and R. Vaishali – India’s chess prowess continues to shine on the global stage.

As Shyaamnikhil basks in the glory of his hard-earned achievement, his journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring chess players everywhere, reminding them that perseverance, dedication, and an unwavering pursuit of excellence can conquer even the most formidable challenges.

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