Tamil Nadu teenager Arjun Kalyan became India’s 68th Chess Grandmaster when he crossed the 2500 ELO mark after beating Dragan Kosic in the fifth round of GM Round Robin “Rujna Zore-3” in Serbia, ChessBase India reported.


The 18-year-old from Chennai had come close to achieving the feat last week. However, it just took him another week to complete the job.

“I needed a win in the penultimate round of the event. Despite being in a good position –- I made a mistake and went on to lose that game. I thought becoming a Grandmaster will take more time. Thankfully, I did well in this event to get the monkey off my back,” Arjun told The Times of India.

Arjun is coached by IM Saravanan and Ukrainian GM Aleksandr Goloshchapov and began playing chess at the age of nine and got his FIDE rating a year later, according to Chessbase India.

As he began playing in overseas tournaments, Arjun recorded impressive results against Alexei Shirov and Nigel Short.

Arjun has been close to the 2500 ELO mark for a while and his bid to cross it was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic that led to him not playing any tournament for over a year.

However, Arjun’s father Saravana Prakash who runs a hotel in Chennai, said his son never gave up on his dreams.

“Be it chess or in studies, Arjun has always looked to give his best. Becoming GM is just a first step as the real test will begin now,” he said.

Goa’s Leon Mendoca