Indian-origin American Abhimanyu Mishra has become the youngest chess grandmaster in the game's history. At 12 years, four months and 25 days, Abhimanyu broke the long-standing record of youngest GM by Sergey Karjakin, who was 12 years and seven months old when he attained the title.
Abhimanyu achieved the feat after defeating 15-year-old Indian grandmaster Leon Luke Mendonca and secured a performance rating higher than 2,600 over nine rounds at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix in Budapest. It was a tournament organized to give him one final shot at the title. Abhimanyu has been in Budapest since April, playing back-to-back games. He had attained the first and second GM norms by May, but he would have had to wait till July to achieve the third GM norm, as per The Indian Express. However, since several chess players had stayed back in the Hungarian capital due to travel restrictions, the organizers created one last event. This gave Abhimanyu his golden opportunity.
Hemant, Abhimanyu's father, introduced Abhimanyu to chess when he was just two-and-half-years old. By the time he was five, he was beating his father, who works in data management. He soon started defeating players much older than him in local tournaments. At the early age of seven, he became the youngest national champion, and by nine, he was the youngest national master in the USA.
Sacrifices Pay Off
Abhimanyu's family had to dig deep into their pockets to play matches around the world. He also has a GoFoundMe page where his family raised close to $16,000 for his trip to Hungary. But the family's hardships and sacrifices are paying off as Abhimanyu is rapidly collecting ELO points and breaking records. In March, he defeated 2521 rated Vladimir Belous in just 19 moves at Charlotte Spring in the US. He also defeated top-seeded Vojtech Plat in the first tournament in Budapest.
The ultimate triumph came when Abhimanyu became the youngest Grandmaster in the history of chess, breaking the GM Sergey Karjakin's record that was standing for 19 years. A fan of Garry Kasparov, Abhimanyu has now sealed his name among the elites. The previous five youngest grandmasters were Tigran Petrosian (23), Boris Spassky (18), Bobby Fischer (15), Judit Polgar (15) and Sergey Karjakin (12).
Congratulations Pour In
Chess legend Viswanathan Anand took to Twitter to congratulate Abhimanyu on his feat.