Twenty-one year old odia chess player Debashis Das on Friday became the first-ever Grandmaster from Odisha.
According to World Chess Federation (FIDE) rules, a player must win three GM norms and cross 2500 rating points at least once in his career to become a Grandmaster.
Debashis secured his third GM norm in the A category at the Czech Open GM Tournament in Pardubice (Czech Republic) in July this year. He won his first GM norm during the World Junior Championship in Athens in August 2012 and the second norm in Dubai earlier this year.
Debashis achieved the title when he beat Aniruddha Deshpande (rating 2270) from Maharashtra in the 8th round of the National-B Chess Challenger Championship-2013 in Bhopal and crossed the magical 2500 Elo rating points.
The All-Odisha Chess Association announced a Rs 50,000 cash award for Das.
“Yes, I have done it and I am delighted. I thank my parents, coach, supporters and fans for believing in me. Without their support, I could not have achieved anything,” was his brief reply after beating Deshpande on Friday.
Debashis Das, who hails from a village called Niali in Cuttack district, made his international debut at the Asian Youth championship in Delhi, 2005 finishing fourth.
There are only 33 others, in a country of 1.2 billion people, who have achieved this rare feat till date.