Chess Olympiad Team A Players Profile

Press Release

 Men’s ( Team A )

1. Vidit Gujrathi

Vidit hails from Nashik, Maharashtra and is currently the India no 2 and world no 25. Vidit joined a club to become a cricketer but due to his age he wasn’t allowed to play at that time so he picked up chess just for fun to play against his dad.

Vidit won the Silver medal in the 2006 Asian Youth Championship in the u-12 category.Vidit didn’t stop here as he continued his great form by winning the u-14 World Youth Chess Championship in 2008 in the Open section becoming the first Indian to do so.

Vidit won the 2018 Tata Steel Challengers and reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 FIDE Chess World cup. Vidit captained the historic 2020 Online Chess Olympiad Gold medal-winning Indian team.

Achievements :

He is India no 2 currently world no 25 . Will be the captain of the team

Only the fourth Indian player to cross the 2700 ELO Rating

He was the captain of the gold medal-winning Indian team at Olympiad 2020.

 2. Pentala Harikrishna

Hailing from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh P Harikrishna started playing chess when he was around four and a half years old. Like any other kid his first interest was cricket but he developed an interest in chess by watching his maternal grandfather play the game. Looking at his interest in the game Harikrishna’s grandfather taught him the rules of the game and his journey began.

Harikrishna won the World u-10 Title in Spain. Followed by the Commonwealth Chess Champion title in 2001 and World Junior Championship in 2004. He has won almost all the age category nationals. Looking at his exceptional performances at the junior level he was included in the Indian Team for the 2000 Chess Olympiad. Harikrishna won the Gold medal in the mixed team event in the 2006 Asian games and a Bronze medal in  Men’s team event in the 2010 Asian games.He also won the Asian individual championship in 2011. Harikrishna represented the Indian team that won the 2020 Online Olympiad gold medal.

In March 2016 Harikrishna created a unique record by going past Viswanathan Anand on the live Elo rating scale which no other Indian chess player had done in the last 3 decades before him. He achieved the feat of being the youngest Grandmaster from India when he got the title in 2001.

 Achievements :

Was part of the 2020 Gold medal team.

Commonwealth Champion 2001

3rd player from India to cross 2700 ratings

Asian individual champion 2011

World Junior Champion 2004

3. Erigasi Arjun

Arjun hails from Warangal, Telangana, and in 2018 at the tender age of just 15 he became the first Grandmaster from Telangana. Arjun started playing chess at the age of five when his teacher asked him to take up chess due to his intelligence. Since that day life has been good for Arjun.

In 2018 at the u-16 World Youth Chess Tournament Arjun won an Individual Silver Medal and played an important role in clinching the silver medal at the tournament in Turkey. The year 2022 proved to be a quite successful one for Arjun as he won one of the strongest open tournaments in India Delhi International Open along with winning the challenger section of the Tata Steel chase championship 2022. Arjun is also the reigning national champion as he won the title in 2022.

Achievements :

He is the reigning national champion won it in 2022

Became the grand master at the tender age of 15

Winner of Delhi International open 2022

Tata Steel chess champion 2022

 4. Narayanan S.L

Born in Trivandrum, Kerala Grandmaster S.L Narayanan is currently India no 5. Narayanan developed an interest in chess after watching his mother play a chess tournament. Narayanan’s sister was also a chess player but the family could only afford to support one of them so her sister decided to back down and now works at a bank.

Narayanan didn’t disappoint and went on to win the u-9, u-11 and u-13 state championships. In 2014 he won the National junior championship title and a Bronze medal in the 2016 World Junior Chess Championship.

In 2015 Narayanan became India’s 41st Grandmaster in the Philippines International Open.

Achievements :

Commonwealth bronze medalist

National Junior Champion

Has won the Armenia Open, Catollica Open, Ellobregat Open, and International Open.

5. Sasikiran Krishnan

Born in Chennai k. Sasikaran started playing chess at the age of nine His father himself was an excellent chess player He is not only one of the most experienced players but has also had a decorated career.

Sasikaran was part of the historic first over the board 2014 bronze medal-winning Indian team and also clinched the individual silver medal on board three. In 2007 he became only the second Indian chess player after Viswanathan Anand to reach ELO rating of 2700.

Sasikaran is the four times Indian Chess Championship title holder and at the junior level has won the Asian Junior Chess Championship in 1999. Sasiakaran completed the requirements of Grandmaster at the age of just 19. Sasikaran later went on to win the Gold medal in the 2006 Asian games mixed team event. Sasikaran has also won the prestigious Hastings International Chess Tournament  in 2001..

Sasikaran was conferred with one of India’s top honors Arjuna awards in the year 2002.

Achievements :

Was part of the 2014 bronze medal-winning Indian team at the Tromso Olympiad

commonwealth games gold medal

Multiple time national champion

Asian junior champion.

 Women’s ( Team A )

1.Koneru Humpy

Born in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Koneru Humpy is one of India’s greatest Women’s Chess players. Koneru’s talent was identified by her father at a very early age and she didn’t disappoint. In 2002 at the age of just 15, she became the youngest female Grandmaster at that time.  The record-breaking streak didn’t stop here as she became only the second Women’s player after GM Judit Polgar to cross 2600 Elo ratings.

Koneru won three consecutive Gold medals at the World Youth Chess Championship from 1998 TO 2000 in u-10, u-12, and u-14.In 1999, Asian Youth Championship, she competed with the boys in the u-12 section and clinched the title. In the 2006 Asian games, Koneru won two Gold medals in the individual and mixed team categories.

In 2016 Koneru took two years of maternity break from chess and made a strong comeback by winning the Skolkovo Women’s Grand Prix. Humpy didn’t stop here as she kept on working on improving her game and clinched the World Women’s Rapid Chess Champion title in 2019.

Humpy has won several national and international titles in her long career which includes Asian Women’s Individual title and Indian Women’s Champion to name a few. She was also part of the 2020 Online Olympiad gold medal winning Indian team.

Looking at her remarkable achievements in chess she was awarded the Arjuna Award, one of India’s top sporting honors, in 2003, and India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri, in 2007.

Achievements :

FIDE World Women’s Rapid Chess Champion 2019

Was part of the 2020 Gold medal team

Asian Women’s Individual champion

Indian Women’s champion

2.Harika Dronavalli

Hailing from Andhra Pradesh Harika developed an interest in chess after watching her sister.  Harika started playing for fun until she won the state championship and after that started taking a serious interest in chess.

Harika had a fruitful junior career as she has won silver medals in the u-10 and u-12 girls World Youth Chess Championship along with winning the Asian Under-12 Girls Chess Championship in 2001. Harika also won the u-14 and u-18 World Youth Chess Championship followed by the World Junior Chess Championship in 2008.

Harika followed her excellent youth career with some remarkable achievements in the senior circuit as well. Harika became the Commonwealth Women’s Champion in 2010 followed by medals in World Women’s Championship in Team and individual events. Harika also bagged the Gold Medal at the 2016 FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in China. She was part of the 2020 Online Olympiad gold medal-winning team and carried the momentum to win the Silver medal at FIDE Women’s World Team Championship 2021.

In 2011 Harika was conferred the Grandmaster title by FIDE and became the only second Indian Chess player to do so. Harika received the Arjuna award in 2007 and India’s fourth-highest civilian award, Padma Shri, in 2019 for her contribution in the field of sports.

Married in 2018 Harika is expecting her first baby during the 2022 Olympiad in Chennai and AICF is going to arrange an ambulance, gynecologist, and doctors at the venue for Harika.

Achievements :

Bronze medal at Women’s World Chess Championship

Was part of the 2020 Gold medal team

Silver medal at FIDE Women’s World Team Championship 2021

Gold Medal at FIDE Women’s Grand Prix China

Commonwealth Women’s Champion 2010

World Junior Champion 2008

3.Vaishali R

A name that needs no introduction to the Indian chess fans Vaishali is currently India’s no 3 in the Women’s category. Born in Chennai, Tamilnadu Vaishali and her brother Praggnanadha are the most sought-after young players in Indian chess. In an attempt to divert her attention from watching television her parents enrolled her in chess classes and from there is no looking back.

Vaishali has won the World Youth Championship Vaishali in both u-12 and u-14 girls’ titles. A big fan of India Chess legend Viswanathan Anand, she became the Women’s Grandmaster in 2018. In 2021 Vaishali also received her International Masters title. Vaishali was also part of the 2020 Online Olympiad gold medal winning team.


Achievements :

Gold girl’s world youth chess champion u-12 and u-14

India no 3 in Women’s Players chess.

Was part of the 2020 Gold medal team

International Masters and Women Grandmaster

4.Tania Sachdev

Born in Delhi Tania got introduced to Chess when she was just six years old by her mother Anju. It didn’t take Tania long to show her potential as she won her first international title at the age of eight. The title-winning run didn’t stop as Tania went on to become the U-12 Indian champion and u-14 Girl champion in 1998 and 2000 respectively. Tania also clinched the Asian Junior champion title twice

Tania’s senior career was also as fruitful as her junior career as she clinched the commonwealth women’s chess champion title thrice along with the Asian women chess champion which she won in 2007. Tania is also two times Indian women’s chess champion but the Individual Bronze medal at the 2012 Women’s Chess Olympiad is one of the key highlights of her champion career. Tania was part of the 2020 Online Olympiad gold medal winning Indian team.

Tania claimed the Women’s Grandmaster title in 2005 and became only the eighth Indian woman to have the title at that time. Tania became an International master in 2008. Looking at all her great achievements the Indian Government Honored her with the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2009.

Tania didn’t limit herself to only playing chess as she is a very popular model. sports presenter and commentator.

Achievements :

3 times commonwealth women’s chess champion

Asian women chess champion 2007

2 times Indian women’s chess champion

2 times Asian Junior champion

Was part of the 2020 Gold medal team

5.Kulkarni Bhakti

Bhakti hails from the coastal state of Goa. She became the first Goan chess player to become the Women Grandmaster. After achieving the Women Grandmaster title Bhakti worked hard towards her next aim which was to get the International Masters title. It took six years of hard work and finally in 2019 Bhakti achieved another feat of being Goa’s first Women International Master.

Bhakti surprised everyone by clinching the 2016 Asian Women’s Chess Championship title with a score of 7.0/9 despite being the last seed in the six-member Women’s squad.

Bhakti won the Bronze medal in the Women’s Asia Team Chess Championship in 2009 and went on to become the Women’s National Champion in 2018. Bhakti was part of the 2020 Online Olympiad gold medal winning Indian team.

Achievements :

Was part of the 2020 Gold medal team

Asian Women’s chess champion 2016

Asian Junior champion 2011

India Women’s National champion.