In 2018, when Yo! Vizag featured the chess prodigy, Sahithi Varshini, her journey inspired everyone. Yet again, the fourteen-year-old has left everyone in awe with her latest achievement. On 16 March 2022, Sahithi, Vizag-based International Master, won the required third Woman International Norm in the First Saturday International Master tournament in Budapest. She scored 4.5 points from nine rounds. And thus, Sahithi Varshini became the first-ever Woman International Master (WIM) from the city of Vizag.
On 15 March 2022, the final list of the tournament was announced. Sahithi had a rating of 2188 and held a Grand Master (GM), one International Master (IM), and one WIM to draw. She beat three players and lost to an IM, Fide Master (FM), and a player with a rating of 2232. She is also ranked fifth in the world in the under-15 girls’ category. Her live rating stands at 2218. Sahithi’s achievements are beyond leaps and bounds for a girl who started playing chess only at the age of eight.
Sahithi made a comeback after a two-year break ,due to Covid-19, in the GMs tournaments held in Armenia in October 2021. She won against two strong players, Padmini rout and Vaishali in the under-14 category. This Vizag based girl is trained by her father, Lokeswara Rao who decided to transfer his passion for chess onto one of his two daughters. Sahithi, the younger one, stunned her father with her mastery over the moves of the chess pieces. Her sister Falguni is a FIDE-rated player and a senior National arbiter.
It looks like Lokeswara Rao leaving his job for a year and taking a loan of Rs. 14 lakh, is finally reaping benefits.
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