ChessBase Logo Shop Link
Language :
Search :
OK

OPENINGS A-Z

Jan-Krzysztof Duda: 15-year-old gains GM title

5/19/2013 – Jan-Krzysztof Duda was born on April 26, 1998, in Krakow, Poland. On May 16, 2013, in the last round of the European Championship he completed his final and third GM norm. He is currently rated 2506 and thus fulfils all conditions for a full GM title. This makes Jan-Krzysztof the world's second youngest GM (after Chinese GM Wei Yi, who is still 13!). We use the opportunity to update our prodigy list.
 

GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, 15

Jan-Krzysztof Duda, born on April 26, 1998, in Krakow, Poland, learnt to play chess at the age of five. In a short time he began to achieve significant success in national and international arenas. He won tens of medals in Polish Junior Championships, in different age categories.

In 2005 he won the title of International Champion of Germany in the Under 8 section, in 2008 the gold medal in World Junior Championship Under 10 in Vung Tau. In 2009 he won a silver medal in World Junior Championship Under 12 in Antalya and was awarded the title of FIDE Master. In 2010 he won the bronze medal in World Junior Championship Under 12 in Porto Carras. In 2011 he won silver medal in European Junior Championship Under 14 in Albena.

In 2012 he won the Olomouc Chess Summer 2012 – Valoz Cup GM tournament in Olomouc an 8.5/11 score and with this his first GM norm. In 2012 he also won gold medal in European Junior Championship Under 14 in Prague and was awarded the title of International Master. In March 2013 he won the First Saturday tournament in Budapest with a score of 8.0/9 and with this his second GM norm. In April 2013 he was tenth in the Polish Chess Championship in Chorzów. In May 2013 he earned his third GM norm during the European Individual Chess Championship in Legnica, Poland.

The latest progress chart of Jan-Krzysztof Duda

This makes Jan-Krzysztof Duda the second-youngest GM in the world today

The youngest is Chinese GM Wei Yi, who is sill 13 and earned the title in March this year

Jan-Krzysztof Duda is the member of the professional chess team "Wojtaszek Comarch Team", together with GMs Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Dariusz Swiercz. The Wojtaszek Comarch Team is a project which aims to support the development of the most talented Polish chess players.

Information from Przemek Jahr, photos by Winicjusz Drozdowski


Chess Prodigies and Mini-Grandmasters

By Frederic Friedel

Child prodigies are a well-known phenomenon in chess, which is one of the few sports or intellectual activities where children can compete with adults on equal ground (another is computer games). The great Capablanca learned the game at four, and was one of the strongest players in Cuba in his early teens. Samuel Reshevsky also started at four and was giving simultaneous exhibitions at six.

Four-year-old Capablanca playing against his
father, soon after learning the moves in 1892

Sammy Reshevsky playing Charles Jaffe at 11.
He tied for third with Janowski, Bigelow and Bernstein.

Youngest Grandmasters


Sergey Karjakin, grandmaster at 12

In recent times we have seen the record for youngest grandmaster in the history of the game topple repeatedly. In 1991 Judit Polgar, a female at that, broke Bobby Fischer's 33-year-old mark by becoming a grandmaster a month earlier than he had done. In 1994 her record was broken by fellow-Hungarian Peter Leko, who a short time later was overtaken by Ukrainian Ruslan Ponomariov. The latter went on to become FIDE world champion. In 2001 14-year-old prodigy Teimour Radjabov, who hails from the same town as Garry Kasparov (Baku), became the second-youngest grandmaster in history.

But all these records were shattered on August 20, 2002, when Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine fulfilled his final grandmaster norm at the age of 12 years and seven months. He did so at the international chess tournament in Sudak, a town on the Crimea Peninsula. His FIDE rating at the time was 2523.

In the same year Sergey became one of the seconds of world champion Ruslan Ponomariov. This was another record he achieved before he had reached his teens. Although we must be cautious with such statements one must assume that his records will not be broken.

One extraordinary chess prodigy came close. In 2004 Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who is nine months younger than Karjakin, completed his GM norms eight months later than his rival had done. Carlsen, who at 18 trained for a while with Garry Kasparov, went on to become the top-ranked player in the world, crossing the magic 2800 mark as the youngest player by far to achieve both these feats.  

Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen

In January 2011 the youngest grandmaster in the world was Illya Nyzhnyk,
who completed his title at the age of 14 years 3 months and 2 days.

Below we have compiled a list of the youngest grandmasters in history. In the future we may be updating this list, as new GMs under 15 years of age emerge.

Youngest grandmasters in history

No.
 Player
Nat.
years
mths
days
born
GM
FIDE
 Sergey Karjakin
UKR
12
7
0
1990
2002
 Parimarjan Negi
IND
13
4
22
1993
2006
 Magnus Carlsen
NOR
13
4
27
1990
2004
 Wei Yi
CHN
13
8
23
1999
2013
 Bu Xiangzhi
CHN
13
10
13
1985
1999
 Richard Rapport
HUN
13
11
15
1996
2010
 Teimour Radjabov
AZE
14
0
14
1987
2001
 Ruslan Ponomariov 
UKR
14
0
17
1983
1997
 Wesley So
PHI
14
1
28
1993
2007
10 
 Etienne Bacrot
FRA
14
2
0
1983
1997
11 
 Jorge Cori
PER
14
2
0
1995
2009
12 
 Illya Nyzhnyk
UKR
14
3
2
1996
2010
13 
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
FRA
14
4
0
1990
2005
14 
 Peter Leko
HUN
14
4
22
1979
1994
15 
 Hou Yifan
CHN
14
6
2
1994
2008
16 
 Anish Giri
RUS
14
7
2
1994
2009
17 
 Yuri Kuzubov
UKR
14
7
12
1990
2004
18
 Dariusz Swiercz
POL
14
7
29
1994
2009
19
 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 
VIE
14
10
0
1990
2004
20
 Daniil Dubov
RUS
14
11
14
1996
2011
21
 Ray Robson
USA
14
11
16
1994
2009
22
 Fabiano Caruana
ITA
14
11
20
1992
2007
23
 Samvel Ter-Sahakyan
ARM
14
11
?
1993
2008
24
Jan-Krzysztof Duda
POL
15
0
21
1998
2013
chart
25
 Andrei Volokitin
UKR
15
0
22
1986
2001
26
 Yangyi Yu
CHN
15
0
23
1994
2009
27
 Koneru Humpy
IND
15
1
27
1987
2002
28
 Hikaru Nakamura
USA
15
2
19
1987
2003
29
 Suri Vaibhav
IND
15
2
21
1997
2012
30
 Pentala Harikrishna
IND
15
3
5
1986
2001
31
 Le Quang Liem
VIE
15
3
17
1991
2006
32
 Yaroslav Zherebukh
UKR
15
3
?
1993
2008
33
 Judit Polgar
HUN
15
4
28
1976
1991
34
 Alejandro Ramirez
CRI
15
5
14
1988
2003
35
 Arkadij Naiditsch
GER
15
5
?
1985
2001
36
 Bobby Fischer
USA
15
6
1
1943
1958
-

Top Juniors

Apart from the age at which they became grandmasters we are also interested in the question or how strong the juniors were at different ages. Garrett Kingman, who is an undergraduate at Harvard University studying and regenerative biology, prepared the following illuminating graph for us:

As we can see Magnus Carlsen was the highest ever rated starting from the age of fifteen. Anish Giri is the second-strongest sixteen-year-old in history, Sergey Karjakin the third strongest. From then on it is Karjakin, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Fabiano Caruana battling for the rank of second, third and fourth strongest 17- and 18-year-olds.

It is worth mentioning that although Judit Polgar only became an official GM at 15+, she was rated a whopping 2555 at the tender age of twelve (after her unbelievable 2694 performance at the Olympiad). We also believe that she was the youngest top 100 player in history.

Judit Polgar's dominance of women's chess back in 2006

Other famous chess prodigies and records

  • Paul Morphy, 1837-1884, beat Johann Löwenthal 3-0 at age 12.

  • José Raúl Capablanca, 1888-1942, learned chess at the age of four, beat his country's chess champion in a match when he was 13, and eventually became world champion (see above).

  • Samuel Reshevsky, learned the rules at the age of 4, and gave simultaneous exhibitions at the age of six (see above).

  • Arturo Pomar played in the Spanish Championship at age 10 and became a master at age 13. He drew Alekhine in Gijon in 1944 at the age of 13.

  • Boris Spassky became an International Grandmaster at 18 and went on to become world champion.

  • Bobby Fischer became US Champion at the age of 14 and a world championship candidate at 15. He went on to become world champion.

  • Henrique Mecking of Brazil learned the game at 6, gave some simultaneous displays at 9, won the Brazilian championship at 13, and South American Zonal at 14, and became an IM at 15. He won two Interzonal Tournaments in a row, at 21 and 24.

  • Anatoly Karpov became a grandmaster at 18 and went on to become world champion.

  • Garry Kasparov became a grandmaster at 17 and went on to become the youngest ever world champion (at 22).

  • Nigel Short finished joint first in the British Championship at the age of 14.

  • Viswanathan Anand became India's first International Grandmaster at 18 and went on to become the FIDE knockout world champion.

  • Michael Adams became an International Master at 15 and a grandmaster at 17.

  • Pentala Harikrishna became India's youngest grandmaster at 15.

  • Gata Kamsky had an Elo rating of 2650 at the age of 16.

  • Luke McShane won the World Under-10 Championship at the age of eight.

  • Ruslan Ponomariov became the youngest ever FIDE knockout world champion at the age of 18.

  • Alejandro Ramirez became a grandmaster at 15, a month earlier than Fischer. He is the first grandmaster ever in Central America.

  • Magnus Carlsen became the second-youngest grandmaster in history at 13, and broke Fischer's record by becoming a world championship candidate at 15 years and one month.

  • As of this writing (January 2006) Parimarjan Negi has achieved five IM norms and one GM norm. He is twelve years old.

  • Mona Khaled achieved the WIM title and two WGM norms in 2005, when she was eleven years old. At the same time she won both the Arabian and the African Girls Junior Championship in the under 20 group in 2005, although she was the youngest player in both tournments.

  • In July 2006 Parimarjan Negi of India completed his final GM norm to become the second-youngest grandmaster in the history of the game.

  • In January 2007 David Howell became the youngest grandmaster in UK history, at sixteen years and one month, breaking Luke McShane's previous record set in 2000 by six months.

  • On December 7th 2007 Wesley So of the Philippines made his final grandmaster norm at the age of 14 years, one month and 28 days to become the seventh youngest GM in history.

  • In 2008 Hou Yifan, born February 27, 1994, in Xinghua, China, became the youngest ever female in history (at the age of 14 years 6 months 2 days) to qualify for the title of grandmaster.

  • Judit Polgar earned her GM title at age 15 years and five months, but was already clearly of GM strength at 12. At the 1988 Olympiads she scored 12.5/13 for the Hungarian team, with a 2692 performance. Judit was the youngest player to ever rank amongst the world's top 100, at the age of 12, with a rating of 2555 in 57th place.

  • At the Wijk aan Zee tournament on January 30, 2009 the Russian/Nepalese/Dutch player Anish Giri, born on June 28, 1994, completed his third and final GM norm, at the age of 14 years, 7 months and 2 days.

  • In October 2009 Ray Robson made his final GM norm, becoming the youngest US player ever to achieve this. He was 14 years, 11 months and 16 days old at the time. Ray was formally awarded the title in January 2010.

  • In April 2009 Dariusz Swiercz (born 31 May 1994), became a grandmaster, just days before his fifteenth birthday.

  • In March 2010 Hungarian prodigy Richard Rapport made his final GM norm at the Gotth' Art Cup, three weeks before his fourteenth birthday.

  • On December 29th 2010, three months after his 14th birthday, Ukrainian prodigy Illya Nyzhnyk drew his penultimate game at the Schaakfestival Open in Groningen to complete his final GM norm. His performance in the whole event was 2670.

  • James Satrapa of Canberra, Australia, provided us with the data of four additional players we had missed: Yangyi Yu of China, Le Quang Liem of Vietnam, Yaroslav Zherebukh of Ukraine and Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia. All have been duly added to our list. We welcome additions and corrections by our readers. James Satrapa sent us data which allowed us to insert Andrei Volokitin and Arkadij Naiditsch into the list. He also introduced us to the currently (July 2011) second youngest GM in the world: Daniil Dubov of Russia.

  • Suri Vaibhav, born 8 Feb 1997, became India’s latest grandmaster when he won the Luc Open in Lille, France on April 29, 2012. With this feat he now becomes the 27th youngest grandmaster at 15 years 2 months and 21 days.

  • On February 25, 2013, Chinese IM Wei Yi completed his third and final GM norm at the Reykjavik Open at the age of 13 years 8 months and 23 days. This makes him the fourth-youngest grandmaster in history (after Karjakin, Negi and Carlsen).

  • See also Chess Prodigies by Edward Winter

Copyright ChessBase

Feedback and mail to our news service Please use this account if you want to contribute to or comment on our news page service
Topics Prodigy

See also

Discuss

Rules for reader comments
    Not registered yet? Register