Against All Odds: Pranesh's Inspirational Road to Grandmaster Title!

Against All Odds: Pranesh's Inspirational Road to Grandmaster Title!

As we write this blog, we are filled with emotions—tears, happiness, and everything in between. Before take you into the extraordinary story of this wonderkid, we want to give a shout-out to all kids, especially the young chess enthusiasts. Keep fighting for your dreams, keep playing chess, and rest assured, everything else will fall into place!

Pranesh M's path to becoming a grandmaster is a story of perseverance, dedication, and triumph over adversity. Born into an impoverished family in Tamil Nadu, India, Pranesh faced numerous challenges from a young age. However, his mother, K Manula, an Anganwadi worker, recognized his potential and introduced him to the game of chess when he was just five years old. Little did they know that this seemingly innocent introduction would set Pranesh on a life-changing journey.

And yes, Pranesh M became a GM in January 2023. So, we might be a few months late in sharing his story, but rest assured, it will be immortalized and continue to inspire generations to come.

Below is Pranesh's meteoric rating growth over the years

The Beginning

Living in a small village south of Tamil Nadu, Pranesh had limited access to resources, which included a significant lack of financial means. He couldn't afford a laptop for chess preparation during his early years of learning the game. Nonetheless, Pranesh's determination was unwavering, and he pursued his passion for chess with whatever means were available to him.

In a pivotal moment, Pranesh's father, who worked at a textile shop, recognized his son's potential and took him to chess clubs in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu. This marked a turning point in Pranesh's chess journey, as he began to receive formal training and exposure to stronger players, which helped sharpen his skills.

But the journey was far from easy. Pranesh's pursuit of excellence demanded sacrifices that a typical teenager might not have been willing to make. He traveled to Chennai from his village on short notice whenever there was a training camp or a tournament, leaving behind the comforts of home and family to immerse himself in the world of chess.

As Pranesh's skills developed and he gained recognition in the chess community, he caught the attention of RB Ramesh, a renowned chess grandmaster and a chess coach from Chennai. RB Ramesh, recognizing the young talent's potential, took him under his wing as his coach. Under Ramesh's guidance, Pranesh's chess prowess continued to grow, and he climbed the ranks of Indian chess steadily.

However, financial constraints still posed significant hurdles in Pranesh's journey. Until he achieved the title of International Master, he lacked the luxury of a laptop for chess preparation. This fact underscores the incredible determination and passion that drove Pranesh to improve and succeed despite facing adversity at every turn.

Pranesh's relentless dedication and hard work finally culminated in the coveted title of India's 79th Chess Grandmaster. His achievement not only brought pride to his family and community but also served as an inspiration to countless aspiring young chess players across India and beyond.

As Pranesh's success continued to soar, he found himself on the cusp of an even greater opportunity: becoming a candidate for the 2024 FIDE tournament. The FIDE Circuit, a series of prestigious chess tournaments, presented Pranesh with a chance to qualify for the ultimate goal – the 2024 FIDE Candidates tournament. This tournament would be the stepping stone to contend for the World Chess Championship, a dream shared by many ambitious chess players.

Behind Pranesh's achievements stands RB Ramesh, a guiding force who played a pivotal role in shaping the young prodigy's career. As a highly accomplished chess player himself, RB Ramesh understood the value of hard work and recognized the raw talent in Pranesh. Alongside his wife, WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy, RB Ramesh founded Chess Gurukul, a Chess Academy in Chennai, to nurture young talents and provide them with the best training and opportunities to excel in chess.

Pranesh's journey serves as a powerful reminder that passion, hard work, and determination can overcome even the most daunting challenges. From his humble beginnings in an impoverished family to becoming a chess grandmaster and a role model for aspiring players, Pranesh M's story is one that will undoubtedly inspire generations of chess enthusiasts to come.

"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today."
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Young chess players can learn several valuable lessons from Pranesh M's inspiring journey to becoming a grandmaster:

Passion and Dedication

Pranesh's story demonstrates the power of passion and dedication. Despite coming from an underprivileged background, his love for chess fueled his determination to overcome obstacles and work tirelessly to achieve his goals.

Believe in Yourself

Pranesh's success shows that self-belief is essential. Despite facing financial hardships and lacking resources, he believed in his abilities and continued to strive for excellence.

"Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle."
Christian D. Larso

Perseverance through Challenges

Pranesh's journey was not without challenges, but he did not give up. Young chess players can learn the importance of persevering through difficult times and staying committed to their dreams.


Pranesh's early struggles with limited access to resources, including a laptop for chess preparation, highlight the value of resourcefulness. He made the most of what he had, proving that determination can overcome material constraints.

Seeking Guidance and Mentorship

Pranesh's association with RB Ramesh showcases the importance of seeking guidance from experienced mentors. Having the right coach can make a significant difference in a player's growth and development.

Hard Work and Sacrifice

Pranesh's dedication to traveling long distances and attending training camps on short notice reflects the importance of hard work and sacrifice in pursuing excellence.

"The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph."

Stay Humble and Grounded

Despite his achievements, Pranesh remains humble and down-to-earth. Young players can learn the value of humility and the need to stay grounded, no matter how successful they become.

Inspiring Others

Pranesh's story serves as an inspiration to other young chess players, showing them that they too can achieve greatness with determination and perseverance.

"Champions keep playing until they get it right."
Billie Jean King

Resilience and Adaptability

Chess can be a mentally challenging game, and Pranesh's ability to adapt and learn from his experiences is a crucial lesson for young players to develop resilience.

Setting Realistic Goals

Pranesh's progression from local chess clubs to international success emphasizes the importance of setting realistic goals and working methodically towards achieving them.

"Winners are not people who never fail but people who never quit."

Pranesh M's journey from adversity to becoming a grandmaster offers valuable insights and life lessons for young chess players.

His story shows that with passion, dedication, hard work, and belief in oneself, one can overcome challenges and achieve greatness in the world of chess and beyond.

Let's study one of his games, analyze it, and try to learn to the best of our capabilities

The game which made him Grandmaster

In Round 9 of the 50th Rilton Cup in the 2022-23 season, a significant game took place between Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal and a player named Pranesh. This game proved to be a pivotal moment for Pranesh as it granted him the title of Grandmaster.

Pranesh displayed a clear intent to take risks and play for a win in this crucial game. While a draw would have secured his victory in the tournament, it might not have been enough for him to achieve a rating of 2500, which is often considered a milestone for players aiming to become Grandmasters. Recognizing this opportunity, Pranesh chose to play aggressively, betting on himself and his skills.

The game's key moves were as follows:

1d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c6 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. b3 Ne4 7. Bd3 f5 8. Bb2 Bd6 9. O-O Qf6 10. Rc1 g5 11. Bxe4 dxe4 12. Ne5 O-O 13. f3 exf3 14. Ndxf3 g4 15. Nxd7 Bxd7 16. Ne5 Qh6 17. Qe1 Bxe5 18. dxe5 c5 19. Qg3 Bc6 20. Rcd1 Rac8 21. Rd6 Qg6 22. Rf4 Kf7 23. Bc3 Rfe8 24. Qe1 Qg5 25. Qf2 Kg8 26. Qg3 h6 27. Rf1 Kf7 28. Rfd1 Kg6 29. Be1 Kf7 30. Qf2 h5 31. Qf4 Kg6 32. Qf2 Kf7 33. a3 Kg6 34. Qd2 h4 35. b4 cxb4 36. axb4 a6 37. Rc1 h3 38. g3 f4 $5

At this critical juncture, Pranesh decided to sacrifice a pawn with 38...f4. By doing so, he aimed to open up lines and create weaknesses in his opponent's position, especially around the king.

39. Qc2+ Qf5 40. Qxf5+ Kxf5 41. gxf4

Urkedal accepted the pawn sacrifice, leading to an open and complex position. White's pawn structure was compromised, and Pranesh skillfully took advantage of this situation.


A brilliant move by Pranesh, attacking White's vulnerable c5 pawn and taking advantage of the pin on the c-file. This move demonstrated his strong understanding of the position and his determination to play for a win.

42. c5 Re7 43. Ra1 Rg7 44. Bg3 Rgc7 45. Kf2 Rc6 46. Ke2 b6 47. Rxc6 Rxc6 48. Rc1 bxc5 49. bxc5 a5 50. Kd3 a4 51. Rc3 Ra6 52. Ra3 Ra8 53. Bh4 Bc6 54. Kd4

Pranesh successfully regained the sacrificed pawn and now had a powerful passed pawn on the a-file, supported by his rook. White's position became increasingly difficult to defend, while Pranesh's pieces were actively coordinated for the impending endgame.

54...Ra7 55. Kc4 Rb7 56. Kc3 Rb1 57. Ra2 Rg1 58. Rd2 Rc1+ 59. Kb4 Rb1+ 60. Ka5 Rb5+ 61. Ka6 Rxc5 62. Kb6 Rc3 63. Ra2 a3 64. Be1 Bd5 65. e4+ Kxe4 66. Re2+ Re3 0-1

Black's advantage continued to grow, and the game concluded with Black's victory. Pranesh's impressive play and determination to win the game paid off handsomely. His victory not only secured him the tournament win but also propelled him across the coveted 2500 rating threshold, earning him the title of India's 79th Grandmaster. It was a remarkable achievement and a testament to Pranesh's skill, bravery, and self-belief in crucial moments.

We are delighted that you took the time to delve into Pranav's journey and hope it left a lasting impact on you. His inspiring story showcases the power of perseverance, determination, and passion in pursuing one's dreams, regardless of the challenges faced.

At ChessX, we are committed to bringing you more such captivating stories from the world of chess. Our mission is to provide chess enthusiasts like you with engaging and insightful content that not only entertains but also motivates and educates.

By subscribing to ChessX, you'll gain access to a wealth of exclusive chess-related articles, interviews, analyses, and much more. We believe that each player's unique journey, like Pranav's, deserves to be celebrated and shared, as it can inspire others on their own paths to greatness.

Whether you are a seasoned chess player or just beginning your chess adventure, ChessX has something to offer for everyone. Our dedicated team of chess enthusiasts and experts is committed to curating top-quality content that will enhance your chess knowledge and skills.

Stay tuned and be the first to discover the latest updates, events, and stories from the fascinating world of chess. Subscribe now to ChessX and embark on a journey of learning, inspiration, and endless possibilities through the timeless game of chess.

Let's continue to celebrate the triumphs and challenges of chess players as they inspire us to believe in ourselves and achieve greatness in our own lives.
Keep Smiling! Keep Learning! Keep Playing!
PS: Generated with the love, support & assistance of AI