PM Bal Puraskar award for Vizag’s 11-year-old chess prodigy

The Class VI student the support of her parents and grandparents has been crucial in winning medals and awards.

Published: 22nd January 2023 07:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd January 2023 07:39 AM   |  A+A-


Representational image. (File Photo)

Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: Chess prodigy from Vizag Alana Meenakshi Kolagatla has made the city proud as she has been chosen for the  Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar 2023. She has achieved several milestones in her career since she made her debut in chess when she was just 7-years-old.

Now 11, Indian international chess player is World No. 1 in the Under-12 girls’ category as per FIDE’s January 2023 ratings. Expressing joy and surpise over the news, Alana’s mother Aparna said, “We are very happy as Alana has been achieving new milestones in chess. But receiving a national award from the President is something special on a different  level.”

Aparna explained that several parameters, including the number of medals and certificates Alana has won at national and international level contests and the consistency, have been taken into consideration before announcing that she would receive the award. The Class VI student the support of her parents and grandparents has been crucial in winning medals and awards.

Immediate goal is to be Int’l Women Master: Alana

“Chess is my favourite sport and I will continue to excel at international championships,” Alana expressed and added, “My immediate goal is to become IWM (International Women Master) and later Woman Grandmaster.”

She said she owed her success to her coach Chiranjeevi and also Chess Gurukul at Chennai.
In 2022, Alana’s ELO rating improved to 2120 from 1963 and achieved the Woman FIDE Master (WFM) title.

She was also World No, 1 in U-11 girls’ category in May, November and December 2022. She is the only Indian girl constantly in the top three world FIDE ranks for more than a year. She was world No 2 in U-10 in December, 2021 and ranked world No 2 in Under-11 girls’ chess as per FIDE ratings in May, 2021.
Alana has achieved the milestone with an ELO rating of 1829. Incidentally, Alana was the only player from India who figured among 10 top ranks in the U-11 girls’ chess category.


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