Abhimanyu Mishra becomes the youngest chess grandmaster in chess history

Serious looking photo of Abhimanyu Mishra who has become the youngest Grandmaster in chess history.

The record was held by Sergey Karjakin, but the American player has broken it 19 years later.

The American player of Indian origin, Abhimanyu Mishra, yesterday became the youngest chess grandmaster in history after achieving the third chess norm to be eligible to apply for the title at the age of 12 years, 4 months and 25 days. Mishra, who has achieved all three norms and surpassed 2500 FIDE ELO points in just 4 months, has surpassed Russian Grandmaster (although he was then playing under the Ukrainian flag) and 2016 world title candidate Sergey Karjakin, who achieved his title almost two decades ago at 12 years and 7 months.

However, Mishra's road to glory has not been straightforward. Although he achieved the title of Candidate Master (CM) at just 7 years old, Fide Master (FM) at 9 and International Master (IM) at just over 10 years old, also being the youngest to do so in history, the young American's progression was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic. So much so that his family, as told by Colin McGourty on Chess24, was forced to open a crowdfunding platform in April 2021 to finance the little boy's return to the boards. The $16,183 raised to date thanks to the selfless donations of 214 patrons have been instrumental and have not fallen on deaf ears.

The first chess grandmaster norm

Hungary, a country where tournaments valid for IM and GM norms are held almost every month, has become the stronghold where Mishra has become strong to get his title, as his three norms have taken place in the Magyar country.

With 2408 FIDE ELO points, the youngster won the April Vezerkepzo tournament after scoring a whopping 7 points in 9 games and a perfomance of 2603 FIDE ELO points. Moreover, the 22 ELO points he earned in the tournament brought him closer to his goal.

In this event he won in five games and drew the other four. Of all of them, it is worth mentioning his victory with black pieces against Czech Grandmaster Vojtech Plat (2553 ELO) after playing a brilliant game that ended with a pawn endgame that Mishra easily sentenced.

The second chess grandmaster norm

Mishra Abhimanyu playing the First Saturday tournament where he got the second chess grandmaster norm.
Picture taken from https://twitter.com/ChessMishra

The second norm was achieved in the First Saturday tournament held in May in Budapest. There he beat Plat again, although he was not the only opponent who succumbed to the 12-year-old, as only two players were able to get half a point out of him in the 9 rounds of the tournament. With 8 points in 9 games, Mishra managed to raise 31 ELO points and won the championship with 3 points difference over the runner-up.

The last chess grandmaster norm

The last one was finally certified during yesterday after beating 15-year-old Indian GM Leon Luke Mendonca (2549 ELO) with black pieces. While it is true that the tournament seemed to be heading towards the final norm, a seventh round loss against Slovak GM Pacher complicated the final outcome.

However, two consecutive victories finally certified the norm, the title and the virtual surpassing of 2500 FIDE ELO points. Especially significant was the last game, as Mishra managed to lift a seemingly lost endgame where his opponent had an extra pawn thanks to a brilliant knight sacrifice.

Guess the move and leave in the comments, thats the critical position of the game that allowed Abhimanyu to surpass Karjakin's record.

Chess game that convert Mishra Abhimanyu in chess Grandmaster.

Congratulations

In fact, one of the first players to congratulate the brand new Grandmaster was Karjakin himself. "I'm a bit sad, I won't deny it, but I congratulate him and wish him to become one of the greats" the Russian admitted on Chess.com.

The list of the 5 youngest chess players is as follows:
Name Country Age at becoming GM
Abhimanyu Mishra USA 12 years, 4 months, 25 days
Sergey Karjakin Russia 12 years, 7 months, 0 days
Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa India 12 years, 10 months, 13 days
Parimarjan Negi India 13 years, 4 months, 22 days
Magnus Carlsen Norway 13 years, 4 months, 27 days

Of course, the entire chess community has been buzzing about the event and the news has even hit the sports media around the world.

World Cup participation

Having achieved the chess grandmaster title, the young American will focus on his next event: the World Cup. In Sochi he will face the Georgian Grandmaster Baduur Jobava and, if he beats him, he would face with Sam Shankland. In a hypothetical fourth round he could play Fabiano Caruana.

TOP 10 countries with the most Grand Masters

With the new title of this young player, the United States has 101 Grandmasters in his country, leaving the ranking of the countries with more grandmasters as follows (if you click on each country you will go to the current ranking of each country):

Country Grandmaster Players
Russia 256
USA 101
Germany 96
Ukraine 93
India 64
Hungary 58
Serbia 58
Spain 56
France 50
China 48

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