CHENNAI, India (Diya TV) — In a remarkable decade for chess, the Indian siblings, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali, are rewriting the narrative of the sport. Praggnanandhaa, a chess prodigy, made headlines at the age of 10 by becoming the youngest International Master, followed by securing the title of the second-youngest Grandmaster in 2018. His achievements include a triumphant three-game victory over five-time world champion Magnus Carlsen and being the second Indian, after Viswanathan Anand, to reach the World Cup final and qualify for the Candidates tournament.

While Praggnanandhaa’s meteoric rise captured the chess world’s attention, his sister Vaishali, patiently awaited her turn. She, too, had chess prowess running in her veins, becoming the first female Grandmaster in the family and the third in India after Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli. Their collective achievement also marks them as the first-ever Grandmaster brother-sister pair in the history of the sport.

Vaishali’s recent triumph at the Women’s Grand Swiss tournament in November showcased her strategic brilliance, defeating three former women’s world champions and earning her spot in the Women’s Candidates tournament.

However, the journey for the siblings wasn’t without its challenges. Vaishali candidly shared her struggles with sibling rivalry, recounting moments when the spotlight on Praggnanandhaa affected her emotionally. Overcoming these hurdles, she has emerged as a formidable force in chess, known for her tenacious attacking style and tactical complexities.

Their mentor, Grandmaster RB Ramesh, highlighted the pressures Vaishali faced as the spotlight often shifted to her younger brother. Despite the challenges, the siblings’ relationship evolved, and the pandemic brought them closer, with Praggnanandhaa becoming a source of guidance for Vaishali.

The family’s chess journey, spearheaded by father Rameshbabu and supported by mother Nagalakshmi, reflects a unique blend of passion and dedication. Their achievements, including being the first brother-sister duo to achieve Grandmaster status, underscore the rare and inspiring story of the Rameshbabu family in the world of chess.

Vaishali’s recent Grandmaster title, achieved at the IV El Llobregat Open in Spain, adds another chapter to this extraordinary saga. Her accomplishment makes her only the third woman in India to earn the prestigious title, joining the ranks of elite chess players.