Abhimanyu Mishra, 12, makes history as youngest chess grandmaster in the world

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A 12-year-old became the youngest grandmaster in the world and broke the chess record for the first time in 19 years in Budapest, Hungary.

Breaking the record: At 12 years and 4 months old, Abhimanyu Mishra obtained the highest title in chess awarded to professional chess masters.

  • The previous world record was held by Ukrainian grandmaster Sergey Karjakin who secured the grandmaster title when he was 12 years and 7 months old, according to India Today.
  • Mishra needed three grandmaster “norms” or awards for high-level performances in elite events in order to hold the title.
  • Due to the pandemic, he and his family relocated to Hungary for several months to find events he needed to qualify, reported Yahoo! News
  • The young player scored two “norms” back-to-back and secured his final one with a penultimate round win over the Indian grandmaster Leon Mendonca, 15, at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix. 

Reactions: “The match against Leon was tough but a mistake from his end was all that I needed to cross the landmark. I feel relieved and happy to be able to achieve this feat,” Mishra said. 

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  • “Somehow I am quite [philosophical] about this because I felt like it has been almost 20 years and it is really too much! It had to be broken,” Karjakin told Chess.com
  • Karjakin also states that while he is “a little sad” that he lost the record, he hopes Mishra will “become one of the top chess players and it will be just a nice start to his big career.” 
  • Mishra’s coach, Arun Prasad, said that Mishra “fully deserves this success” and that it is “a big moment” to see his student become a grandmaster. 

About Mishra: Mishra is originally from New Jersey and has been breaking chess records since he was 7, which is when he became the United States Chess Federation’s youngest expert. 

  • He also became the youngest national master when he was 9 and the youngest-ever international master at 10 years old. 
  • He first became known on the internet when he won the under-eight section of the 2016 ChessKid Online National Invitational Championship (CONIC). 

Featured Image via Saint Lous Chess Club (left), Chess24 (right)

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