Iniyan, a native of Erode in Tamil Nadu, went undefeated in the Under 18 section of the championship.

16-year-old Grandmaster Iniyan wins gold medal Commonwealth Chess Championship
news Awards Tuesday, July 09, 2019 - 17:04

Just a few months after being made India’s 61st chess Grandmaster, 16-year-old Iniyan Paneerselvam bagged the gold medal at the Commonwealth Chess Championship held in Delhi.

Iniyan, a native of Erode in Tamil Nadu, played in the Under 18 section and went on to become the undefeated champion after winning all seven consecutive matches played in his category. He was the only player in his division to have won every round he played.

“I am extremely proud of him. He has worked really hard to achieve this. He has been playing since he was 5 years old and today he has come so far,” said Paneerselvam, Iniyan’s father.

“This is definitely not a small achievement and I am immensely proud of the fact that Iniyan has achieved such a feat. He is someone who is very passionate about the game and has been playing for several years now,” says Dinesh Babu, a member of the Erode Chess Association, which the teenager has been a part of for several years.

The Commonwealth Chess Championship takes place annually and players from Commonwealth countries have been taking part in the tournament since it was first created in 1950. However, it was only in 1985 that India had its first win thanks to Grandmaster Praveen Mahadeo Thipsay.

Iniyan was conferred the title of ‘Grandmaster’ back in March after having met all the guidelines as stated by the International Chess Federation (FIDE). In June 2018, he completed the last requirement and crossed an International Chess Federation rating of 2500, after which he was eligible for the title. He is India’s 61st Grandmaster. Following this, Viswanathan Anand India’s first Chess Grandmaster (who was conferred the title in 1987), tweeted to congratulate the teenager on his achievement. 

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