R Raja Rithvik has become India's 70th and latest chess Grandmaster, achieving his third and final norm at a recent event in Hungary. Viswanathan Anand, a former world champion and Indian chess great, congratulated the 17-year-old for joining the Grandmaster club.
"Congrats to Raja Ritvik for becoming India's 70th Grand Master! A very proud moment to see our numbers rise," Anand, the country's first-ever GM, remarked in a tweet on Monday.
The All India Chess Federation congratulated Raja Rithvik for becoming a Grandmaster. Rithvik earned his second and third GM norms in less than a month after winning his first at the age of 15 in 2019.
The Indian earned the third norm in the First Saturday GM competition to complete the GM title criteria after winning the second norm in the Skalica Open, reported The Indian Express.
After defeating Vaclav Finek in the fourth round of the competition, he reached the critical 2500 Elo level.
The Quest To Become The First Player To Achieve 2500 Elo
Rithvik won the First Saturday GM September 2021 with an unbeaten score of 7.0/9. This was his final GM-norm.
He received a live rating of 2496.4 after performing at 2606 and gaining 13.4 Elo rating points. The teenager from Hyderabad, Telangana, began his next event, Vezerkepzo GM Mix 2021-09, the next day, where he defeated fellow Telangana native Ajay Krishna S to raise his live rating to 2499.5.
After that, he drew his next two games against IM Krishna Teja N and IM Rathanvel V S, bringing his live rating back up to 2497.9. However, on September 17th, he defeated FM Vaclav Fink (CZE) to become the first player to reach 2500 Elo. Rithvik became India's 70th Grandmaster when his live rating reached 2501.9.