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

It is an indoor sport which is played on national as well as international levels due to its popularity. The game is a fine blend of sportsmanship, logic and art and not only has it brought people closer but also developed their wit and strategies.

Did you know?

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

It was also called the ‘game of kings’, as it was only played by kings in the past.

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

On International Chess Day, we have curated a list of five of the most outstanding Indian-origin Chess Grandmasters.

Viswanathan Anand 

Viswanathan Anand is undoubtedly the first person to go through one’s mind while speaking of Chess, and this is all for good reason. He is an icon who made India proud on multiple occasions. He is the first Indian to win the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000. Known for his tactical moves, Anand has achieved everything a Chess player can dream of.

He is the World Rapid Chess Champion and has secured the World Championship prominently in four events. He has won several other accolades to his name. Recently on 18th July 2021, the Grandmaster won the Sparkassen Trophy. He has an IQ of over 150.

Koneru Humpy

This 34-year-old Grandmaster is one of India’s finest and was ranked as world’s no 2. She has a list of unending 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 has been honored with the Arjuna Award and Padmashree.

Abhimanyu Mishra

This 12-year-old Indian-origin boy from the United States won the title of the youngest International Master at the age of 10. Abhimanyu has been credited with a lot many achievements to his name, making him a Chess prodigy.

Harikrishna Pentala

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

Nihal Sarin

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

Honorable mention

Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi

Subbaraman Vijayalakshmi is the first Indian female player who earned the Master and Grandmaster FIDE titles and has won the highest amount of medals in the Chess Olympiads compared to any other Indian Chess player. She has been honored with several accolades and was given the Arjuna Award in 2001.

Also read: Assam connection of Dr Talimeren Ao, flag bearer of independent India’s first Olympics

Leave a comment

Leave a comment