12- year-old, Abhimanyu Mishra, wins Grandmaster title establishing new record

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Abhimanyu Mishra Photo by Justin N. Lane, jnlane.com, Courtesy of U.S. Chess. Chess Life Cover Photo Courtesy of U.S. Chess

Twelve-year-old Grandmaster Abhimanyu (“Abhi”) Mishra from Englishtown, New Jersey broke all previous records to become the youngest Grandmaster (GM) in history, announced the International Chess Federation (FIDE) June 30, 2021.

Apart from the title ‘World Champion’, the ‘Grandmaster’ is the highest title that a chess player can achieve and it is a lifelong recognition.

Mishra ousted the record set previously by Russian Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin who set the record as the youngest Grandmaster in 2002. Karjakin went on to unsuccessfully challenge Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen in a 2016 World Championship match, FIDE said in the press release.

“Finally checkmated the biggest opponent (ongoing pandemic ) which stopped me for 14 months. Thanks everybody for all your love and support. Looking forward for World cup,” Mishra tweeted June 30, 2021, after his match with Leon Luke Mendonca of India.

12-year-old Abhimanyu Mishra of New Jersey, tweeting about his victory on June 30, 2021, to become chess Grandmaster. Photo: Twitter @ChessMishra

The World Cup is scheduled for July 10 to August 8 at Gazprom Mountain Resort in Sochi, Russia, where some 206 players will compete, the FIDE website shows.

Karjakin earned his title at age 12 years and 7 months. Mishra bettered him by approximately 66 days.

At age 12 years, 4 months, and 25 days, Mishra earned his third and final norm (a performance-level measure) on June 30, 2021 at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix tournament in Budapest, Hungary.

Speaking on a television interview from Budapest with Champion Chess Tour, Mishra said, “It was feeling unreal! It was such a big relief. We have been here for the last two and a half months trying to break it. …. It .. it felt amazing…. My greatest inspiration is Magnus Carlsen,” the current World Chess Champion.

At the Budapest competition, Mishra defeated Grandmaster Mendonca, a 15-year-old Indian player, to take the final step “on his long journey” to Grandmaster, FIDA said.

According to Chess.com, Mishra defeated Mendonca “with the black pieces thus achieving a performance rating higher than 2600 over nine rounds, the Grandmaster norm.

He had already fulfilled the rating requirement, breaking the 2500 Elo mark in June, and FIDE—the World Chess Federation—must still confirm the record, the press release said.

Newly minted chess Grandmaster on June 30, 2021 Abhimanyu Mishra of New Jersey. Profile photo Twitter @ChessMishra

The ‘Elo mark’ is a mathematically derived rating system named after Arpad Elo, a master-level Hungarian-American chess player born in 1903 who played in the U.S. Chess Federation games since the organization was founded in 1939.

This is probably the third time that Mishra has shattered a record. According to the press release, Mishra was the youngest master in U.S. history at nine years and two months; and the youngest International Master ever at 10 years, nine months, and three days. That was when he broke the record set by Grandmaster Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa of Chennai, by 17 days.

In an interview with Chess.com, Karjakin said he hoped Mishra “will go on to become one of the top chess players and it will be just a nice start to his big career. I wish him all the best.”

“Somehow I am quite philosophic about this because I felt like it has been almost 20 years and it is really too much! It had to be broken. Sooner or later I was sure that it will happen,” Sarajkin told chess.com, adding, “I was completely sure that one of the Indian guys would do it much earlier.”

 

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