Akshat Chandra

I was born in 1999 and learnt chess when my family relocated to New Delhi, India, for a few years. Since I couldn’t play my regular sports of basketball and American football, I needed a new activity, and that’s when I stumbled into chess. I got pulled into it really quickly, and was fascinated by its intricacies and subtleties. I started playing in 2009, and received a FIDE rating of 1548 in January 2010. When I competitively got involved in chess I realized that at around ten years of age I’d started very late, compared to peers in US and India. The leading players in and around my age-group had started playing chess at five or six years of age, and were hundreds of Elo points above me. Whoa!

I played tournaments across India, and also in Europe. In March 2013 my family returned to the US, after which I became a regular member on the national chess circuit. I won the 2013 North American Youth Championship U18, and the SuperNationals K-9 in 2013, one of the largest chess tournaments in the world, with over 5000 players in all sections. Recently, I had a significant breakthrough, earning my first grandmaster (GM) norm (see above). It's not going to be easy to reach the coveted GM title, and it requires a lot of support and training. But like others before me who have walked the difficult road, I'll continue putting in the hard work that has got me so far in less than five years, from unrated to a 2440 IM. As famous American Football quarterback Joe Namath once said: "If you're not going all the way, then why go at all." More can be learnt about me and my quest to the GM title on my blog QuestToGM.

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