India’s first Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand took to Twitter to congratulate Iniyan Panneerselvam on his achievement.

16-yr-old Iniyan Panneerselvam from Erode becomes Indias 61st Chess Grandmaster
news Chess Thursday, March 07, 2019 - 13:17

For Iniyan Panneerselvam, a 16-year-old from Erode city in Erode district of Tamil Nadu, chess has been more than just a game, it’s been a lifelong passion. The teen who has been playing chess since the age of 5, was conferred with the title of ‘Grandmaster’ on March 6.

Following the announcement, India’s most well known chess player, Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand took to Twitter to praise the young boy for his achievement.

“Congrats and welcome to No. 61 ! GM. Iniyan!In 1987 we were all wondering if we would have a GM and we closely watched each other in trying to get there first. Now it seems every other month we have a GM !!” he wrote on the social media platform.

Viswanathan Anand is India’s first Chess Grandmaster and he achieved the norm way back in 1987. He is also a five-time World Chess champion.

“We always wanted him to be involved in some extracurricular activity. I introduced him to chess when he was just 5 years old and he immediately took a liking to it. I taught him the basics, but after a point he needed a proper coach, so I approached a man in Erode by the name of Thirumurugan, who taught Iniyan for a year,” says Panneerselvam, Iniyan’s father.

However, it was after Iniyan competed and won several tournaments that his father realised how serious his son was about the game. He was guided by another coach based out of Salem, Tamil Nadu and went on to participate in several national and international level tournaments. He secured a gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Games held in Sri Lanka.

In order to achieve the title of ‘Grandmaster,’ Iniyan had to meet certain guidelines put in place by the International Chess Federation (FIDE). In June 2018, he completed the last requirement and crossed an International Chess Federation rating of 2500. Following this, the 16-year-old has now been conferred with the title, becoming India’s 61st Chess Grandmaster.

Show us some love! Support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.