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Bhakti Kulkarni and Praggnanandhaa are the Arjuna Award 2022 recipients in Chess

by ChessBase India - 01/12/2022

Over two years ago, we published an article mentioning that no Arjuna Award was conferred to chess players for a really long time. The nine-year-long drought finally comes to an end in the form of IM Bhakti Kulkarni and GM R Praggnanandhaa. The last chess player who received the award before them was, GM Abhijeet Gupta back in 2013. India had about 35 Grandmasters then. The number has more than doubled over the past nine years and the list of accolades and laurels achieved by the Indian players keep increasing almost every day. Both Bhakti and Praggnanandhaa won a medal at the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022 - Bronze each. They are also Asian Continental champions, Praggnanandhaa won it last month while Bhakti in 2016. Photo: President of India twitter

Nine year drought comes to an end

The ever-growing list of Indian players achieving incredible feat at various stage keeps increasing by the day. We might get one or two more by the end of the day. IM Bhakti Kulkarni and GM R Praggnanandhaa are the Arjuna Award 2022 recipients in Chess. They both received cash prize worth ₹15 lacs, a bronze statue, ceremonial dress and a certificate each.

IM Bhakti Kulkarni and GM R Praggnanandhaa receives the Arjuna Award from the President of India, Droupadi Murmu | Photo: President of India twitter
Praggnanandhaa receives the second-highest sporting honour in India - Arjuna Award 2022

President of India - Droupadi Murmu, the narrator spoke about his following achievements:

1. Gold medal at the FIDE Online Olympiad 2020

2. Bronze medal at the FIDE Online Olympiad 2021

3. Bronze medal at the FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022


Praggnanandhaa recently also won the Asian Championships and has the unique distinction of beating World Champion Magnus Carlsen five times in the year 2022.

Bhakti Kulkarni gets the Arjuna Award 2022

President of India - Droupadi Murmu, the narrator spoke about her following achievements:

1. World Women Team Chess Championship 2021 Silver medal

2. Bronze medal at Commonwealth Chess Championships 2021


Bhakti is also the former Asian Continental Women champion and has also been the two-time National Women champion of India. She is also an International Master and Woman Grandmaster.

Arjuna Award

Arjuna award is the second highest sporting honour in the country. The recipients of the Arjuna Award are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and are honoured for their "good performance in the field of sports over a period of four years" at the international level and for having shown "qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline."

List of Arjuna Award winners in Chess

1961Manuel AaronArjuna AwardMale
1980–1981Rohini KhadilkarArjuna AwardFemale
1983Dibyendu BaruaArjuna AwardMale
1984Pravin ThipsayArjuna AwardMale
1985Viswanathan AnandArjuna AwardMale
1987Devaki PrasadArjuna AwardMale
1987Bhagyashree ThipsayArjuna AwardFemale
1990Anupama GokhaleArjuna AwardFemale
2000Subbaraman VijayalakshmiArjuna AwardFemale
2002Krishnan SasikiranArjuna AwardMale
2003Koneru HumpyArjuna AwardFemale
2005Surya Shekhar GangulyArjuna AwardMale
2006Pentala HarikrishnaArjuna AwardMale
2007Harika DronavalliArjuna AwardFemale
2009Tania SachdevArjuna AwardFemale
2010Parimarjan NegiArjuna AwardMale
2013Abhijeet GuptaArjuna AwardMale
2022Bhakti KulkarniArjuna AwardFemale
2022R PraggnanandhaaArjuna AwardMale

The important tweets

President of India, Droupoadi Murmu

Vishy Anand, India's first Grandmaster, Arjuna Award 1985

Dibyendu Barua, India's second Grandmaster, Arjuna Award 1983

AICF President, Dr. Sanjay Kapoor

What's next for Bhakti and Praggnanandhaa? They both will play in the Tata Steel Chess India 2022 Blitz Women and Open event respectively on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December 2022 at National Library of India in Kolkata.


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