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Breaking News: Raja Rithvik R becomes the 70th Grandmaster of India

by Shahid Ahmed - 18/09/2021

IM Raja Rithvik R started his Europe tour this summer with one GM-norm in his bag. He played three round-robin tournaments in Serbia non-stop for 21 days, performed well, yet the required performance rating was falling short for a GM-norm. After a difficult run at RTU Open, Rithvik had a breakout performance at Skalica Open 2021 where he scored his second GM-norm by winning against Gunina in the last round. With momentum on his side, he won the next event First Saturday GM September to score his third GM-norm and in the following three days he managed to cross the 2500 rating barrier to become India's 70th Grandmaster. A quick look at the 17-year-old boy's journey towards the coveted Grandmaster title.

Two GM-norms and 2500+ in three weeks

17-year-old Rithvik scored his final GM-norm on 14th September by winning First Saturday GM September 2021 with an unbeaten score of 7.0/9. He performed at 2606 and gained 13.4 Elo rating points, taking his live rating to 2496.4. The boy from Hyderabad, Telangana started his next event, Vezerkepzo GM Mix 2021-09, the very next day where he beat compatriot Ajay Krishna S to take his live rating to 2499.5. Then he drew the next two games against IM Krishna Teja N and IM Rathanvel V S which brought his live rating back to 2497.9. However, on 17th September, he beat FM Vaclav Finek (CZE) to cross 2500 Elo. His live rating reached 2501.9 and Rithvik became India's 70th Grandmaster.

India's 70th Grandmaster - Raja Rithvik R

First GM-norm: Ellobregat Open 2019

Rithvik scored his first GM-norm almost two years ago at Ellobregat Open 2019.

Rithvik scored his first GM-norm at the age of 15 years | Photo: Patricia Claros Aguilar

Rithvik scored an unbeaten 6.0/9, performed at 2593 to score his maiden GM-norm

Second GM-norm: Skalica Open 2021

Last month, Rithvik beat Valentina Gunina (RUS) in the final round to finish second and score his second GM-norm.

Rithvik with the Chief Arbiter of the Open section - IA Diviak Rastislav

Rithvik scored 7.0/9, performed at 2616 to score his second GM-norm

Third GM-norm: First Saturday GM September 2021

Rithvik scored an unbeaten 7.0/9, performed at 2606 to win First Saturday GM September 2021 and take his live rating to 2496.4

Rithvik with the tournament organizer IO Laszlo Nagy | Photo: IO Laszlo Nagy

Rithvik scored 7.0/9, performed at 2606 to win the event and score his final GM-norm

Rating barrier 2500+ : Vezerkepzo GM Mix 2021-09

Rithvik started playing Vezerkepzo GM Mix 2021-09 with a live rating of 2496.4. He beat FM Vaclav Finek (CZE) in the fourth round to cross the 2500 barrier as his live rating became 2501.9

Raja Rithvik R with his 2500+ live rating certificate

Rithvik crossed 2500 when he beat FM Vaclav Finek in the fourth round
India get its 70th Grandmaster - GM Rithvik Raja | Video: ChessBase India

Photo Gallery

Raja Rithvik R with his mother Deepika at First Saturday GM September 2021

Rithvik with his parents and sister Harika

Rithvik's sister Harika

Rithvik trains with N V S Ramaraju

Rithvik also trains with Aleksander Goloshchapov | Photo:

Rithvik's Achievements

IM Raja Rithvik R has a lot of achievements in his young career, here are some of the best ones:

• Gold in Asian Schools Under-9 Standard, Rapid and Blitz 2013.

• Winner of National Under-13 and Under-17 Open in 2017.

• Gold in Asian Youth Standard and Blitz Under-14 in 2018.

• Winner of National Sub-Junior Open in 2019.

• International Master in 2018 at the age of 14 years.


We will have a detailed interview with Rithvik once he finishes his ongoing tournament.


Get to know more about Rithvik

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