If Praggnanandhaa is garnering international headlines, his sister IM RameshBabu Vaishali has been quietly performing above expectations in the European Chess circuitin the last couple of months. Just early morning today Vaishali tied for top place in the Bodensee open tournament in Austria but had to settle for second place after tie-break. Last month Vaishali had again surpassed all expectations by winning the 8th Fischer Memorial round robin chess title in Greece and garnered her second GM norm. Vaishali has slowly inched her way up in Indian chess and currently is the third highest woman rated player in India.
In the chess world there are only a handful of women players who have won Open tournaments, Koneru Humpy of India being one of them. Also Vaishali with two GM norms in her kitty is well placed to become India’s third GM after Humpy and Dronavalli Harika. Interestingly Vaishali’s parents picked up chess as a diversion tactic for Vaishali who was totally addicted to watching television. She is also training under the Westbridge Anand Chess Academy Floated by Viswanathan Anand and is sponsored by Ramco.
“Its helpful to have a sparring partner at home in Pragg and we discuss, prepare and play chess openings together: says Vaishali as Pragg got interested in chess because of her. Vaishali too is ambitious and shows plenty of pluck as in both the tournaments she finished first, she needed a victory in the last round against higher rated opponents and she managed to do it. She could well be the proverbial dark horse at the Chess Olympiad scheduled in Chennai.