After 19 Years, Chess Has a New Youngest Grandmaster

Abhimanyu Mishra of New Jersey takes the title at 12 years, 4 months, 25 days old
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2021 9:25 AM CDT

Two months and change makes all the difference. That's the spread between Russia's Sergey Karjakin—who once held the title of youngest grandmaster in the world of chess at the age of 12 years, seven months—and his successor, Abhimanyu Mishra of New Jersey, who, at 12 years, four months, and 25 days, yanked that title Wednesday from Karjakin at a tournament in Hungary. CNN reports the chess prodigy's win against grandmaster Leon Mendonca at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix match in Budapest was the third and final grandmaster "norm" (ie, an award given for high performance at a chess tourney) that Abhimanyu needed to clinch the title. He already had the 2500 Elo rating required from the international chess federation known as FIDE.

Karjakin's 2002 record had stood for nearly two decades, notes. "Sooner or later I was sure that it [would] happen," Karjakin tells the outlet. "Yes, I am a little sad that I lost the record, I don't want to lie, but at the same time I can only congratulate him. ... I hope that he will go on to become one of the top chess players." The US Chess Federation reports that Abhimanyu, who goes by "Abhi," became the youngest national master at the age of 9 years, two months, then went on to become the youngest international master at 10 years, nine months, and three days. "Finally checkmated the biggest opponent (ongoing pandemic) which stopped me for 14 months," Abhi tweeted on Wednesday. "Thanks everybody for all your love and support. Looking forward for World cup." Watch Abhi's interview on his newest achievement here. (More uplifting news stories.)

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