India gets its 49th grandmaster - Abhimanyu Puranik!
Just a day after Vidit Gujrathi became the fourth Indian to cross 2700 in the FIDE Elo list, we have more good news from the state of Maharashtra. India got its 49th grandmaster in the form of Abhimanyu Puranik from Pune. The 17-year-old made his final GM norm with a round to spare at the Abu Dhabi Masters 2017 and also crossed 2500 Elo. It's raining grandmasters in India, and we are just one away from reaching the 50 GMs mark!
Born on 11th of February 2000, Abhimanyu Puranik is just 17 years, 6 months and 11 days old, but he can already boast of having achieved the most coveted title in the chess world. The boy from Pune became the 49th grandmaster of India after he scored his final GM norm with a round to spare at the Abu Dhabi Masters 2017 and also crossed 2500 on the live Elo ratings.
Down the memory lane:
Abhimanyu started playing chess when he was only five and a half years old, and had been passionate about the game right from the start. He was a student of Symbiosis primary school and also liked playing football. He started receiving coaching from International Master Chandrashekhar Gokhale. Chandrashekhar emphasized physical exercises for Abhimanyu to develop stamina to sit through four to six hours of play without losing concentration. The boy achieved international rating at the age of 8 years.
Abhimanyu’s style of play caught the eye of Raghunandan Gokhale, eminent coach and winner of the ‘Dronacharya Award’, at a workshop arranged by Chandrashekhar Gokhale for his students. He appealed to Abhimanyu’s parents to send him to Greece. Samir and Sneha Puranik, Abhimanyu's parents, put up their own funds and endured visa hassles to acomplish their task and Abhimanyu justified everyone's faith in him by besting powerful players and winning the gold at the World School Chess Championship-2007 in under-7 section by scoring 9.0/9!
The World Chess Organization offered him the title 'Candidate Master' after he won the bronze medal at the World Youth under-10 in 2010.
Abhimanyu became an IM in 2015 after he scored three IM norms and crossed the rating barrier of 2400. His first IM norm came at the age of just 12 years when he put up a creditable performance at the Prague Open in 2012. He had to wait for nearly three years for his next two norms but he achieved them in a hurry at the Mumbai and Kolkata Open in 2015.
- Some of the photos in this article were used from Abhimanyu's official website.
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