chessbase india logo

16-year-old Pranesh M becomes India's 79th Grandmaster

by Shahid Ahmed - 10/01/2023

IM Pranesh M became India's 79th Grandmaster on 5th January 2023. He defeated GM Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal (NOR) in the final round to cross 2500 in the live ratings. The win also earned him the first place at Rilton Cup 2022-23. The teenager scored his first GM-norm at 18th Delhi GM Open 2020. Then Covid-19 pandemic delayed his chances to score the next two norms. He scored his second GM-norm at 8th Sunway Sitges Open 2021 and the final norm was earned at Asian Continental 2022. He scored all his norms in strong Open events and delivered stellar performances. The teenager became the first GM from Karaikudi and 28th from his state Tamil Nadu. He has won a huge amount of accolades throughout his nascent career, including a Gold and Bronze at the last Commonwealth Chess Championships 2022. Photo: Shahid Ahmed

The first Grandmaster from Karaikudi, 28th from Tamil Nadu

"It was a very good feeling, becoming a Grandmaster finally." - Pranesh M when he was asked, how he felt becoming India's latest GM. The 16-year-old was taught chess by his mother. His elder brother Dinesh Rajan M, played chess before him. The younger one practiced with his elder brother at the beginning. Pranesh got a lot of support from his trainer GM FST R B Ramesh. He is also sponsored by Hobspace. The e4-group started by Satya Prabhakar and ChessBase India youtube membership were some more support he received. Pranesh planned only one tournament to score the remaining 25 Elo rating points to fulfil the final criteria to become a GM. He said, "Let's go for this tournament (Rilton Cup 2022-23), increase the required 25 points and become GM... I believed in me that I can do it."

India's 79th Grandmaster - Pranesh M | Photo: Shahid Ahmed
Pranesh on his journey of becoming India's 79th GM at the age of 16 years | Video: ChessBase India

First GM-norm: 18th Delhi GM Open 2020

Then FM Pranesh M scored his maiden GM-norm at 18th Delhi GM Open 2020. He was just 13 years old and he was not even an IM yet. He defeated GM Stanislav Bogdanovich (UKR), GM Adam Tukhaev (UKR), GM Visakh N R and IM Van Huy Nguyen (VIE); drew with GM Diptayan Ghosh, GM Sahaj Grover, GM Kirill Stupak and GM Nodirbek Yakubboev (UZB). The boy scored an unbeaten 8/10, remained undefeated, performed at 2645 and gained 87.8 Elo rating points, finished fifth overall. He was the only non IM/GM among the top eight.

Tukhaev - Pranesh, Round 8

Position after 16...Re8

15...Bb7 allowed 16.f4 forced Black to drop a knight. Pranesh (2317) was unfazed and replied 16...Re8 against GM Adam Tukhaev (UKR, 2548). White took 17.fxe5 Bxe5 18.Bxc4 Bxh2+! the boy sacrificed another minor piece to take advantage of the unprotected kingside and undeveloped White's pieces on the queenside. 19.Kf1 Qh4 20.Ne4 Rxe4 21.Rxe4 Qxe4 22.Bd3 Qh4 22.Nd2? Bc7 a beautiful retreat to put the bishop in a more effective diagonal. 23.Qe2 Bb6 and White resigned. This game certainly gives a clear inkling of what Pranesh is capable of.

FM Pranesh M defeated GM Visakh N R in the final round to finish fifth | Photo: Niklesh Jain

FM Pranesh M scored his maiden GM-norm at 18th Delhi GM Open 2020 even before he was an IM | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Pranesh scored his maiden GM-norm with a performance of 2645, scoring 8/10 and gained 87.8 Elo rating points

Second GM-norm: 8th Sunway Sitges Open 2021

Pranesh scored his second GM-norm at 8th Sunway Sitges Open in December 2021. The 15-year-old won against GM Susanto Megaranto (INA), drew with GM Karthikeyan Murali, GM M Amin Tabatabaei (IRI), GM Nihal Sarin and GM Denis Kadric (MNE). The only loss he suffered was against GM Hans Niemann (USA) in the final round. The teenager scored 6.5/10, performed at 2583, gained 20.5 Elo rating points, en route his second GM-norm.

Pranesh - Susanto, Round 9

Position after 24.Bxg5!!

Indonesia no.1 GM Susanto Megaranto (INA, 2548) got in trouble early in the Scandinavian Defence/Center Counter against IM Pranesh M (2437). When the teenager got an opportunity, he delivered with all his courage 24.Bxg5!! Qxa1+ 25.Kg2 Rg8 26.h6+ Kh7 27.Bd3+ Ng6 28.Rxf6 Be7 29.Rxg6 Rxg6 30.Qe6 Rg8 31.Bxg6+ Rxg6 32.Qf7+ and Black resigned. What a beautiful finish by Pranesh.

IM Pranesh M scores his second GM-norm at 8th Sunway Sitges Open 2021| Video: ChessBase India
IM Pranesh scores his 2nd GM norm | Thank you to all the YouTube Members! | Video: ChessBase India

IM Pranesh M with his second GM-norm certificate at 8th Sunway Sitges Open 2022 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Pranesh scored his second GM-norm with a performance of 2583, scored 6.5/10 and gained 20.5 Elo rating points

Third GM-norm: Asian Continental 2022

IM Pranesh M earned his final GM-norm at Asian Continental Chess Championship 2022. After a 2/2 start, he suffered two consecutive losses against GM R Praggnanandhaa and GM Sethuraman S P. However, he bounced back by finishing the tournament with an unbeaten 4/5 in the last five games. He defeated GM Aravindh Chithambaram, GM Pranav Venkatesh, drew with GM Rinat Jumabayev (KAZ) and GM Shyam Sundar M.

Pranav - Pranesh, Round 8

Position after 23...Bxc2+!

Pranesh (2442) is tactically alert. When his opponent GM Pranav V (2530) played 23.Nb3, he did not hesitate in playing 23...Bxc2+! 24.Kb2 Rxe2 25.Qxe2 Bxb3 26.axb3 Qxf4 and Black won the game in another six moves.

IM Pranesh M received his final GM-norm at Asian Continental Chess Championship 2022 | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Pranesh M scored 6/9 with a performance of 2611 to secure his final GM-norm

Live rating 2500

On Thursday 5th January 2023. IM Pranesh M defeated GM Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal (NOR) to win Rilton Cup 2022-23 and become India's 79th Grandmaster.

Urkedal - Pranesh, Round 9

Position after 38...f4

Pranesh showed an intent to take risk and go for a win. Black is not forced to break. A draw makes Pranesh the winner of the tournament, However, it probably might not have been enough to cross 2500. It could possibly be the reason why he wanted to play for a win. Once again, he bet on himself and it rewarded him handsomely. 39.Qc2+ Qf5 40.Qxf5 Kxf5 41.gxf4 Bd5 42.c5 and Black eventually won the rook and opposite color bishop endgame. Thus, Pranesh won the tournament, crossed 2500 in the live ratings and became India's 79th Grandmaster.

IM Pranesh M defeated GM Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal (NOR) to win Rilton Cup 2022-23 and become India's 79th Grandmaster | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Pranesh scored seven victories in-a-row to finish with a performance of 2775 and crossed 2500 in the live ratings

Pranesh's sponsor Hobspace tweeted on him achieving the GM title

Replay all games of Pranesh

Pranesh M at National Under-11 in 2017 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A great expression of Pranesh M captured by Amruta Mokal

Before they were GMs - Leon Luke Mendonca vs Pranesh M at Commonwealth Under-12 Open in 2018 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Pranesh M getting felicitated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin

Young Pranesh with his brother Dinesh Rajan M

IM Pranesh M became MPL 36th National Sub-Junior (Under-15) Open champion in 2022 | Photo: Delhi Chess Association

Young Pranesh being lifted by his coach GM FST R B Ramesh

Pranesh's coach, GM R B Ramesh shared an interesting fact about Pranesh

Pranesh enjoying the nature

Young Pranesh M with his aunt

IM Pranesh M with his father receiving his prize from Vishy Anand, an initiative by the e4-group

Vishy Anand congratulated Pranesh M on becoming India's 79th GM

The e4-group supported Pranesh and various other talents once he returned after becoming a GM

Pranesh M won the 33rd City of Cannes and 26th Creon Open consecutively last year | Photo: Cannes Chess Club

Pranesh M won Bronze in Open and Gold in Under-16 Open at Commonwealth Chess Championship 2022 | Photo: IA Asit Baran Choudhury

Pranesh M's Best Achievements

India's 79th GM Pranesh M has earned a lot of medals in various National and International events.


Here are few of his best achievements: 

• Gold in Commonwealth Under-16 Open 2022.

• Gold in Asian Schools Under-15 Open 2021.

• Champion in Rilton Cup 2022/23.

• Champion in 33rd City of Cannes Summer Open 2022.

• Champion in 26th Creon Open 2022.

• Champion in 26th Abu Dhabi Chess Festival Juniors 2019. 

• Gold in 46th National Sub-Junior (Under-15) Open 2022.

• Gold in AICF National Under-16 Open 2021.

• Gold in 33rd National Under-13 Open 2019.

• Gold in AICF National Schools Under-15 Open 2021.

• Gold in National Schools Under-13 Boys 2018.

• Silver in Commonwealth Under-12 Open 2018.

• Bronze in Commonwealth Open Championship 2022.

• Bronze in FIDE Online Rapid World Cup Cadets & Youth Under-16 2021.

• Bronze in National Schools Online Under-17 Open 2021.

• Bronze in 31st National Under-11 Open 2017.

• Gold in 2nd National Schools Under-7 Open 2013.

• Silver in 30th National Under-11 Open 2016.

• Bronze in Asian Schools Blitz Under-7 Open 2013.

• Champion in 1st IITM Rating Open 2017.

• Champion in All India Grand Prix Rapid Rating Open 2019.

• Runner-up in 28th Abu Dhabi Chess Festival Blitz Under-16 2022.

• Runner-up in All India Grand Prix Rating Open 2020.

• Runner-up in 3rd Shaastra Rapid Rating Open 2019.

• Runner-up in 1st Athens of the East Blitz Rating Open 2018.

• Runner-up in Tamil Nadu State Junior (Under-20) Open 2021.

• Runner-up in 29th Tamil Nadu State Under-11 Boys 2016.

• Runner-up in 30th Tamil Nadu State Blitz Open 2017. 

• Runner-up in 32nd Tamil Nadu State Under-13 Open 2019.

• Second Runner-up in GRT Shasun Jain College Rapid Rating Open 2022.

• Second Runner-up in 30th Tamil Nadu State Under-13 Open 2017.

• Second Runner-up in 31st Tamil Nadu State Under-13 Open 2018.

• Second Runner-up in 44th Tamil Nadu State Sub-Junior (Under-15) Open 2018.


Unbeaten IM Pranesh M wins 33rd City of Cannes Summer Open | Video: ChessBase India
When Kalashnikov goes Kaput | 15-year-old IM Pranesh vs GM Aravindh | Video: ChessBase India
12-year-old Bharath and 13-year-old Pranesh set Aeroflot Open on fire! | Video: ChessBase India
This 12-year-old boy outwitted the Indian Tal! | Video: ChessBase India
Queen endgame with a twist: Bishop vs Three Pawns | IM Pranesh v Olympiad Gold medalist GM Yakubboev | Video: ChessBase India
Fifth in the World Under-16 - IM Pranesh M from Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu | Video: ChessBase India

Contact Us