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Grandmasters & Speakers

GM # 53
GM #60
WGM #15
Co-founder & MD, WestBridge Capital
Co-founder and CEO, ChessBase India

Date & Time

Wednesday Wed, 7 Sep 2022


Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
View Map


+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

The WestBridge Anand Chess Academy (WACA) is associated with some of India’s most promising chess players. The WACA Fellows – R. Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, Arjun Erigaisi, Nihal Sarin, Raunak Sadhwani and R. Vaishali proved their mettle in the recently concluded 45th FIDE Chess Olympiad 2022 at Mahabalipuram, Chennai. Their prowess is proof that India is propelling towards being reckoned as a Global Chess Superpower.

In this session, we celebrate them and everything chess. These young prodigies will be joined by Viswanathan Anand, Sandipan Chanda, Sandeep Singhal and Sagar Shah.

Presented by:

About WestBridge Anand Chess Academy (WACA):

In partnership with Chess Maestro and former 5 time World Champion, GM Viswanathan Anand, WestBridge Capital set up WACA to create a platform to facilitate mentorship to both established and upcoming chess players, with the aim of producing more champions for India in the game of chess. With mentoring from GM Anand and his team of experts, WACA, in addition to providing the thrust to help them excel in the sport, also hopes to positively impact the lives of the WACA Fellows by rewarding them for their achievements.


Grandmasters & Speakers

Viswanathan Anand

GM #01

Viswanathan Anand is an Indian chess Grandmaster who won the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE; international chess federation) world championship in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012.

Anand learned to play chess when he was 6 years old. By the time he was 14, Anand had won the Indian National Sub-Junior Championship with a perfect score of nine wins in nine games. At age 15 he became the youngest Indian to earn the international master title. The following year, he won the first of three consecutive national championships. At age 17 Anand became the first Asian to win a world chess title when he won the 1987 FIDE World Junior Championship, which is open to players who have not reached their 20th birthday by January 1 of the tournament year. Anand followed up that victory by earning the international grandmaster title in 1988. In 1991 Anand won his first major international chess tournament, finishing ahead of world champion Garry Kasparov and former world champion Anatoly Karpov. For the first time since the American Bobby Fischer abandoned the title in 1975, a non-Russian had emerged as a favourite to become world chess champion.

Sandipan Chanda

GM # 09

Sandipan Chanda is an Indian chess Grandmaster. Chanda became Grandmaster in 2003. In 2004 he won the Curaçao Chess Festival, a half point ahead of Alexander Shabalov.

Chanda started playing chess at the age of 9. He played for India in the Chess Olympiads of 2004, 2006 and 2008. He scored a notable win over Sergei Tiviakov in 2007 at a tournament in Ottawa, which was selected for inclusion in John Nunn’s The Mammoth Book of the World’s Greatest Chess Games. He was Viswanathan Anand’s second for the World Chess Championship 2013 match. In 2016 and 2017 he won the Open Dutch Chess Championship.

R. Praggnanandhaa

GM #52

R Praggnanandhaa is an Indian chess Grandmaster. A chess prodigy, he earned the International Master title at the age of 10, the youngest at the time to do so, and the Grandmaster title at age 12, the second-youngest at the time to do so.

In February 2022, at the age of 16, he became the youngest player ever to defeat current world champion Magnus Carlsen, when he beat Carlsen in a rapid game at the Airthings Masters Rapid Chess Tournament. After defeating Carlsen twice in online events, Praggnanandhaa defeated him for the third time in just six months, with the latest victory coming in August 2022 at the FTX Crypto Cup, the American finale of Champions Chess Tour, in Miami.

Nihal Sarin

GM # 53

Nihal Sarin is an Indian chess player. A chess prodigy, he achieved the title of Grandmaster at age 14. He is also the fourth youngest player in history to cross the Elo rating mark of 2600, accomplishing this feat at age 14.

Arjun Erigaisi

GM #54

Arjun Erigaisi is an Indian chess Grandmaster. He earned the title of Grandmaster at the age of 14. When he was 18, Erigaisi won the MPL 58th National Senior Chess Championship 2022 and is hence the reigning Indian National Chess Champion.

D Gukesh

GM #60

D Gukesh is an Indian chess Grandmaster. He is the third-youngest person in history to qualify for the title of Grandmaster, which FIDE awarded him in March 2019.

Raunak Sadhwani

GM #65

Raunak Sadhwani is an Indian chess player and Grandmaster. A chess prodigy, he achieved the title of Grandmaster at age 13. He is the 9th youngest player in history and the 4th youngest Indian to become a Grandmaster. Raunak was U-10 Commonwealth Champion in 2015 in New Delhi, India.

Leon Mendonca

GM #67

Leon Luke Mendonca is an Indian chess player. He is the sixty-seventh Indian to qualify for the title of Grandmaster, which FIDE awarded him in January 2021. Mendonca became an International Master (IM) in 2019 at the age of 12. He attained his first Grandmaster norm at the Rigochess Grandmaster tournament in Hungary in October 2020. Within a span of 21 days, he won another Grandmaster tournament at Budapest earning him the second Grandmaster norm.

Mendonca achieved his third and final norm in December 2020 by finishing second at the Vergani Cup in Bassano del Grappa, Italy.

R. Vaishali

WGM #15

R. Vaishali is an Indian chess player and one of the top 50 women in the world rankings. She earned the Woman Grandmaster title in 2018 and the International Master title in 2021. Vaishali has also earned two Grandmaster norms as of May 2022.

Sandeep Singhal

Co-founder & MD, WestBridge Capital

Sandeep Singhal is a co-founder and managing partner at WestBridge Capital and has been investing in India for over two decades.Earlier in his career, Sandeep also co-founded and was the Managing Director of Sequoia Capital India and has worked at BCG and at Hindustan Unilever. Sandeep has previously served on the board of directors of numerous companies, both public and private and currently serves on the board of over 10 companies. Sandeep is a founding member and director on the board of the IIT Delhi Endowment Management Foundation and the IIM Ahmedabad Endowment Management Foundation. He also serves as a Trustee on the board of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE).

Sandeep has a deep interest in music and arts and has, along with Kavita Iyer, co-founded the Singhal-Iyer Family Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting Indian music, culture and performing arts, under its various programs and also offers fellowship support.

Sandeep holds an MBA with distinction from IIM Ahmedabad, an MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois where he was awarded the Abraham Lincoln Fellowship and a B. Tech. in Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi.

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Sagar Shah

Co-founder and CEO, ChessBase India

Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM (Grandmaster) norms. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news outlet in the country. Shah is also a chartered accountant.