A modern-day Renaissance man from Kitchener, Canada, Raja Panjwani holds the title of International Master and attends a master’s program in International and Development Economics at Yale University. He previously earned an MSt in Philosophy of Physics from Oxford, and an undergraduate degree in physics and philosophy from Western University in Canada.
“At Yale, I’m also part of the chess club, and we’ve got some strong members: GM Robert Hess, WIM Yuanling Yuan and WGM Anya Corke,” he says.
Panjwani’s family is from India and was living in Kuwait in 1990 when the first Gulf War began. They moved to Canada to join Panjwani’s uncle, and Panjwani was born there.
At the age of five he learned chess from his parents, who both enjoy the game. He recently earned his first Grandmaster norm at the SPICE Cup this past October 2014, and needs two more to earn the title, as well as push his rating past FIDE 2500.
In his sporadic free time, Panjwani enjoys playing basketball and following the professional sport. In addition to chess and graduate school, Panjwani started an organization called Sage: School for Young Writers. This program connects budding writers with established authors in genres such as poetry and fiction. The authors teach writing courses and mentor individual writers as well. Sage also provides academic writing coaches, such as history PhD students who critique papers of undergraduate students.