A small crowd that gathered at Madurai railway junction on Thursday morning had every reason to feel proud. They were there to receive the newly-crowned Grandmaster in chess, J. Deepan Chakravarthy. Finally, when he arrived he was accorded a rousing reception by his friends and family members. He was taken on a chariot to his home from the railway station.
Deepan is the second person from the city and fifth from Tamil Nadu to achieve this honour. P. Mahesh Chandran is the other GM from the Temple City. Hailing from a humble background, it is a big leap for this talented player.
Deepan got his International Master title and the first GM norm when he claimed the Asian Junior Championship in Colombo, in 2002. It took four years for him to complete two more norms and cross the Elo rating of 2500 for the GM title, which he did at the recently concluded National `A' Chess Championship in Visakhapatnam. However, it would take time to get official confirmation.
Though it was a memorable day for this first year B. Com. student of Thiagarajar College, he still remembers his lapses in the final rounds, which cost him the coveted National `A' title.
Later in the day, he visited Dolphin Public School, his alma mater, where AR. Ramanathan, correspondent, honoured him.