If his own playing schedule wasn’t clashing with the Chess Olympiad, V. Pranav would have loved to head to coastal town one of these days. It’s not every day that the world’s largest chess event comes to a place near your home.
But the 16-year-old Chennai lad is in Romania now. On Sunday, he became a Grandmaster after completing his final norm from the Limpedea Open. So India got its 75th GM with the country’s 75th Independence Day just a week away.
He made his first norm from the Serbian Open last year and the second from the Vezerkepzo tournament at Budapest in June.
“Though it is disappointing that I have had to miss the Olympiad and not see my favourite player Magnus Carlsen in action, I am happy that I could complete my GM title,” Pranav told The Hindu over phone from Baia Mare, Romania. “If not for Covid-19, I could have got the title earlier. I was able to work more on the game during the pandemic.”
His coach K. Viswesaran said the willingness to work hard on the game is one of his strengths. “But Pranav is also natural,” he said. “He is remarkably fast too. He is probably the fastest player I have worked with.”
Visweswaran has high hopes about him. “I think he has the potential to be a Super Grandmaster,” he said. “With the right kind of support, he could go far.”
Pranav’s father M. Venkatesh, an IT professional, said it would be great if there was more support. “He has sponsorships from Microsense and Chessbase India and that has been very helpful,” he said.