Iniyan Paneerselvam became the 61st Chess Grandmaster from India when he crossed the 2500-point mark in the Elo Ratings at the ongoing Noisiel Open in France.

The 16-year-old crossed the requisite threshold for becoming a Grandmaster by defeating Sergey Fedorchuk of Ukraine.

Hailing from the town of Erode in Tamil Nadu, Iniyan had achieved his third norm at Barbara del Valles chess tournament in Barcelona in 2018.

Paneerselvam, Iniyan’s father reflected on his son’s achievement, “We always wanted him to be involved in some extracurricular activity. I introduced him to chess when he was just five years old and he immediately took a liking to it. I taught him the basics, but after a point he needed a proper coach, so I approached a man in Erode by the name of Thirumurugan, who taught Iniyan for a year.”

A grade 11 student of the Indian Public School, Erode, Iniyan is now coached by K Visweswaran from Chennai. He made his first GM norm at the Montcada Open at Spain in July 2017 and his second at the Bobligen International Grandmasters tournament in Germany six months later.

At the World Youth Chess Olympiad 2017 in Ahmedabad, Iniyan had won a gold medal on the fourth board, securing 7.5 points out of 8 and helped the team secure a silver medal.

Iniyan is the latest in a long line of Indian GMs, after Viswanathan Anand became the first one from the country to achieve the prestigious title back in 1987.