12-year-old Indian-American Abhimanyu Mishra Becomes Youngest Grandmaster In Chess History

Abhimanyu Mishra, an Indian-American chess prodigy, became the youngest ever chess Grandmaster (GM) in the world after breaking the records of GM Sergey Karjakin in Budapest, Hungary.   

For the past few years, the chess circuit kept wondering who will break GM Sergey’s record. Dommaraju Gukesh and Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa even came closer to obliterating the record of 12 years and seven months set but missed it by a close mark. While Gukesh missed the mark by 17 days, Praggnandhaa overran it by 100-odd days, claiming his title in 12 years, 10 months and 13 days.  

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Finally, the 12-year-old from New Jersey, United States, on June 30, achieved the third and final GM norm surpassing GM Sergey’s record that has stood for 19 years.   

Abhimanyu attained the first and second GM norms in April and May, as his journey was interrupted by the outbreak of coronavirus. In April, when he got an opportunity to chase his dream and achieve the title of world’s youngest International Master, he left no stone unturned to get the title, defeating India’s GM Leon Luke Mendonca on Wednesday.   

Indian parents of Abhimanyu, Swati and Hemant Mishra moved to Englishtown, New Jersey, 14 years ago for their jobs as software engineers. Hemant, who has roots in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, introduced Abhimanyu to the world of chess when he was two years old as he didn’t want his son to be addicted to video games. Abhimanyu took to the sport like fish, and his performance impressed Hemant. Abhimanyu thus started playing in a large group in the US, dominating other children belonging to his age group. As the first step of becoming a GM, Abhimanyu broke Praggnandhaa’s records as International Master (IM) two years ago.   

Then the youngest IM in the world started preparing to overrun GM Sergey’s world record. Abhimanyu could have surpassed him earlier, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Chess Circuit Board suspended the game and moved it online in march 2020. As playing chess online made no sense to them, Hemant and Abhimanyu left for the Vezerkepzo Mix in Budapest to play the game offline in April 2021. And, now the result is transparent to the world.  

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