12-year-old Abhimanyu Mishra becomes the youngest-ever chess Grandmaster

Abhimanyu Mishra has broken the 19-year-old record of Sergey Karjakin. He had previously become the world's youngest International Master two years ago.

Abhimanyu Mishra
Abhimanyu Mishra

12-year-old Indian-American boy, Abhimanyu Mishra became the youngest-ever chess grandmaster on Wednesday. All of 12 years, 4 months and 25 days, Mishra broke Sergey Karjakin’s 19-year-old record of 12 years and 7 months at the third norm in Budapest.

The New Jersey resident and his father had been camping in Budapest since April this year on the quest of the Grandmaster title. He had to score three required norms from tournaments in Budapest and touch an Elo rating of 2500 and above to achieve the coveted title. The norms can be awarded only in tournaments where at least 50% of the opponents are titleholders, and at least one-third of them Grandmasters.

Abhimanyu Mishra’s first norm came in Vezerkepzo GM tournament in April and the second followed at the First Saturday tournament last month.

Abhimanyu Mishra: The making of the youngest-ever Grandmaster

Abhimanyu Mishra
Abhimanyu Mishra

12-year-old Abhimanyu Mishra created history on Wednesday after he became the youngest-ever chess Grandmaster. He achieved the two norms required for the title in two months.

The final one came after his win against Indian GM Leon Mendonca with black pieces at the Vezerkepzo GM mix. It was his final tournament opportunity in the Hungarian capital before he travelled to Sochi for the FIDE World Cup.

My short term goal,” Sportstar had quoted him saying over the phone from Budapest last month, “is to become the world’s youngest Grandmaster,” Mishra had said. And now the young boy has achieved the goal.

Abhimanyu Mishra was introduced to chess at a very young age and initially struggled to match the stamina of the competitors five-times older to him. The struggle became a starting-point of his efforts with his father to come up with hacks, simulations and everything else to make it in the adult chess circuit. He started managing sleep during late-night games by sleeping the car between rounds or in a spare room at the competition venue.

Two years ago, he became the world’s youngest International Master breaking the record of India’s R. Praggnanandhaa. In his preparation for achieving the feat, Mishra put himself through a mock 10-day drill at home to match his body and sleep schedule according to California time which is three hours behind his hometown, New Jersey. Together with his father, he went over preparations until 3am and took walks outside their home to stay awake. He flew to California on the starting day of the tournament and went on to rewrite history by becoming the world’s youngest International Master.

Abhimanyu Mishra is coached by two U.S.-settled Grandmasters from Chennai, S. Arun Prasad and P. Magesh Chandran.

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