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2022 Deserves to Be Remembered as India’s Biggest Chess Year Ever

India had a lot of success in the sport this year, from hosting the Chess Olympiad to Praggnanandhaa defeating Magnus Carlsen, the current world champion.

Two female chess players, one age 35 and the other age 15 represented India admirably at the year’s end in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Koneru Humpy and B. Savitha Shri both won medals at the World quick and blitz chess championship.

Indian chess has just had an even better year. In fact, 2022 ought to be remembered as India’s greatest year.

Viswanathan Anand won five World championships, the first of which was in 2000, and India has experienced several notable achievements over the past few decades. There are numerous reasons to celebrate almost every year, but 2022 stands out.

Iconic Moments

India has fewer outstanding performers among its female athletes than it has among its male athletes. Therefore, it was noteworthy when 15-year-old Savitha won a medal at a competition renowned as the World rapid and blitz championship after starting as the 36th seed. Also silver is former World rapid champion, Humpy.

Another Indian woman greatly improved Indian chess earlier in December. In the City of Joy, R. Vaishali accomplished that when she defeated a very talented field to win the blitz championship in Kolkata’s Tata Steel Chess India event.

Nihal Sarin won the sharp division of the competition, and Arjun Erigaisi won the blitz division. Although R. Praggnanandhaa and D. Gukesh, the final two members of the great quartet of Indian teens, were disappointed in Kolkata, they have also achieved some outstanding results all year.

One of the year’s highlights in international chess was Gukesh‘s amazing performance for India-2 at the Chess Olympiad in Chennai, where he won his first eight games straight en way to the gold on the top board. And India dominated the Olympiad medal count, taking home nine of the 36 available medals.

The Tamil Nadu Government, which had only been given four months to organize an event with more than 1700 participants from 186 nations, played a significant role in the Olympiad’s organizational success. The Olympiad also aided India’s chess community’s mainstreaming of the game.

The game frequently made headlines thanks to players like Praggnanandhaa, who regularly made news by achieving stunning victories over opponents like world champion Magnus Carlsen. Eight Indians made the top 70 on the year’s final ranking list.

The year also saw talented teens like V. Pranav and Pranav Anand become Grandmasters, in addition to India continuing to win medals in the World age-group championships.