Bengaluru’s Pranav Anand became India’s 76th Grandmaster as he passed the 2,500 Elo mark in the World Youth Chess Championship in Mamaia, Romania. The 15-year-old earned the title on Thursday after having already fulfilled the other qualifications for a GM title.

He defeated France’s Augustin Droin to claim the U-14 Open gold with 9 points from 11 rounds, a day after fulfilling the requirement to become India’s 76th Grandmaster.

By drawing his game against Spain’s top-ranked GM Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli (2619) in the penultimate round, Anand had earned his third and final GM norm in Biel at the 55th Biel Chess Festival in July.

Additionally, in the same event, he had won the match against GMs Maxime Lagarde of France (2631), Sethuraman S. P. (2623) and drawn with Aryan Chopra (2610), and GM Shant Sargsyan of Armenia (2661).

He achieved his previous two GM norms at the Sitges Open in January and the Vezerkepso GM Round Robin in March, earlier this year.

Anand’s coach V Saravanan told PTI, “He is passionate towards chess. Extremely interested and passionate towards the game. He can work for any number of hours. He is especially good in calculation and end games...they are his two biggest strengths right now.”

“If the pandemic was not there, Pranav could have become a GM at least a year ago. He is one of the most talented kids I have ever come across,” he added.