Vaishali Rameshbabu became only the third female grandmaster from India, following in the footsteps of Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli. This accomplishment was realized after Vaishali surpassed the 2500 FIDE rating threshold at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain, where she secured the grandmaster title by defeating Turkish FM Tamer Tarik Selbes in the second round.
“I am very happy to finally completed the title. It’s just two rounds. I am also focusing on the tournament. But I am really happy with the GM title,” told Chess.com.
With this achievement, Vaishali and her younger brother, Praggnanandhaa, have become the first-ever Grandmaster siblings pair in history. They have also become the first-ever brother-sister duo to qualify for the Candidates.
The chess journeys of Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa have been intertwined, marked by parallel successes and shared victories, including double bronze in the Olympics and double silver at the Asian Games.
The achievement drew praise from various quarters, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, who extended his congratulations to the sibling duo.
“Adding to the glory, you are now the first-ever Grandmaster siblings. We’re immensely proud of your achievements, and your remarkable journey is an inspiration to aspiring chess enthusiasts and a testament to women’s empowerment in our state,” he posted on his social media handle.
Vaishali gained prominence in 2015 by winning the under-14 girls’ division of the Asian Youth Chess Championships and concurrently earning the title of International Master (IM).