Raja Rithvik receiving a certificate endorsing his International Master (IM) title accomplishment from A Jevtic, Director of Paracin Open International chess tournament
Raja Rithvik receiving a certificate endorsing his International Master (IM) title accomplishment from A Jevtic, Director of Paracin Open International chess tournament

Hyderabad: Spectacular. That is the one word that best describes the incredible consistency with which the tremendously gifted R Raja Rithvik has been mastering the winning moves, irrespective of the individual standing of the opponent across the board.

Matching wits and beating them at their own game has become customary to the tenth standard student of Orchids International School, Jubilee Hills, who late Wednesday became the youngest player from Telangana State to achieve the International Master (IM) Tile.

Born on May 4, 2004, he was 14 years, two months and nine days old when he entered the sport’s history books following the 2400 Elo rating he achieved during the Paracin Open chess tournament in the Serbian city of Paracin.

The Warangal native was confronted with a rare irony. Although it was on July 6 that he won the third IM Norm during the 81st IM Round Robin Championship at Novisad in Serbia, he could not be conferred the IM title, straightaway, as he was falling short of the mandated 2400 Elo points, which, in his case, stood at 2381.

It was with the addition of 28 points at Paracin that he could cement his first big step in the major league. His points tally was bolstered after he defeated England Grandmaster Fernandez Howard and held two veteran GMs, Atalik Suat of Turkey and Iranian Lorpariz Shahin.

Undeniably one of India’s brightest stars on the chess horizon, Rithvik has not only lived up to his potential every time, but he is actually making easoned campaigners to take notice of his prodigious talents, which is helping him account for the more fancied opponents with nonchalant ease. 

Given this sort of ‘surprise in the pack’ reputation that he is earning, those following his career from a closer angle are not surprised that playing with white pieces and employing his favourite Reti Opening, Rithvik brought Fernandez Howard down to earth in 38 moves.

The Serbian event witnessed the participation of 15 GMs and 30 IMs from across 25 nations, For the records, the other four IMs from Telangana include M.Chakravarti Reddy, Harsha Bharathakoti, Rahul Srivastav, Erigaisi Arjun.

On his momentous day, the studious protégé reiterated his indebtedness to NVS Rama Raju, a reputed coach from Hyderabad, under whose wings the boy has been mastering his moves.

“I owe my rise to his remarkable teaching techniques and the homework regimen he has set for me. My school management has also been very supportive by giving me the freedom to go on tours and earn a name from all corners,’ he said.


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