Sindarov: second youngest GM ever

by Macauley Peterson
10/18/2018 – The last half year went well for the young Uzbek Javokhir Sindarov: In June he got his first GM norm in Voronezh, Russia. In September, at the World Junior Championships in Turkey, he scored a second and elevated his Elo rating to 2500. Now, less than a month later, Sindarov has reportedly earned his third and final GM norm, making him the second youngest GM ever, at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 8 days. | Photo: Sagar Shah

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Matching Praggnanandhaa's achievement

ChessBase readers will probably be familiar with the name Praggnanandhaa, who became the second youngest Grandmaster in history in June of this year. The reason we followed him so closely is that for a long time it looked like he had a real shot at breaking Sergey Karjakin's record atop our list of the youngest GMs ever. He was the youngest International Master in history, at ten years and nine months. He hit 2500 Elo just a few days after his twelfth birthday, with seven months in which to attain three GM norms. Ultimately he didn't break the record, of course.

By contrast, Javokhir Sindarov (born December 8, 2005) qualified for the IM title in June, 2017 (when he was nine months older than 'Pragg' had been), and as of just a month ago, he had not yet been over 2500 — so he was never a threat to Karjakin's record.

But that all changed in a hurry! Sindarov snagged his second GM norm at the World Junior Championship where Sagar Shah profiled him extensively. He hit 2500 exactly on the October FIDE ratings list. Then at the recent "First Saturday" tournament in Budapest, which finished on Tuesday, he scored his third GM norm (and tied for first place with 7/9). 

Sindarov in Budapest

Dr. Kamil Sindarov, FM Manush Shah, IM Javokhir Sindarov, IO Laszlo Nagy | Photo: Laszlo Nagy

After 8 of 9 rounds, Sindarov was at the top of the standings with 6 of 8, but that was not the most important factor, since he needed a win in the last round to qualify for a GM-norm. He succeeded with a sweeping attack:


Sindarov's title is expected to be confirmed at the next FIDE Presidential Board meeting, however the FIDE website has already published a news item, written by IO Nagy, who tells ChessBase "I am sure [about] the other 2 GM-norms [as well]."

Budapest "First Saturday" October - Final standings

Rg. Titel Name Land ELO 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pkt.
1 IM Javokhir Sindarov
2500   0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 / 9
2 IM Emil Mirzoev
2439 1   0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 7.0 / 9
3   Ismayil Bahram Shahaliyev
2376 ½ 1   ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 6.0 / 9
4 GM Vojtech Plat
2539 0 ½ ½   1 1 ½ ½ 1 ½ 5.5 / 9
5 FM Shah Manush
2302 ½ 0 ½ 0   1 ½ ½ ½ 1 4.5 / 9
6 IM Shinya Kojima
2408 0 ½ ½ 0 0   ½ ½ 1 1 4.0 / 9
7   Van Thanh Nguyen
2350 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ ½ 3.5 / 9
8 GM Attila Czebe
2426 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½   ½ ½ 3.0 / 9
9 IM Minh Thang Tran
2341 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ ½   1 2.5 / 9
10 GM Zlatko Ilincic
2411 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 0   2.0 / 9

All games


Johannes Fischer contributed reporting.


Macauley is Editor in Chief of ChessBase News in Hamburg, Germany, and producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast. He was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.
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a1h8 a1h8 10/23/2018 11:00
First of all congrats to Javokhir with fantastic achievement!

Second point is that he made his first norm in Voronezh (Russia) in 22nd Voronezh International Chess Festival
which always started 12 June twenty two years in a row!

Sorry, but according to our local proverb, you can’t consider yourself a real chess player if you have never played in Voronezh!
By the way Pragg played twice in Voronezh!

IO Alexander Raetsky

Welcome for 23rd Voronezh chess festival! (12 June 2019)
ElvinNaz ElvinNaz 10/21/2018 06:07
Wow this is a very well😮😮😰😰
david gonzalez david gonzalez 10/21/2018 05:01
I agree wholeheartedly with 1_g,those nitpicking fellows are a huge bore and should get a life.
anair64 anair64 10/20/2018 07:23
@Denix - it feels like you might be on to something there! Could you please care to elaborate for the lesser mortals out here. Is it the smile? The killer instinct in his eyes? The tiger on his tshirt (hey, clothes constitute part of one's looks too)?
Denix Denix 10/19/2018 09:57
Unlike other prodigies, Sindarov has the looks of a World Championship contender.
Pionki Pionki 10/19/2018 09:18
LG, Someone who seeks perfectness is not a simpleton. And how do you know he was outraged? The difference between a professional website and a bad one is in the language. Would you expect poor language in a reputable newspaper? I do agree with you, though, that Chessbase articles are of high standard.
l_g l_g 10/19/2018 04:35
Dear Macauley,

First of all, many thanks for this interesting article.

Chessbase reports are often complex affairs (including text, photos, video interviews, games, analysis, etc. etc.) which are always offered FOR FREE to all readers… and yet ever so often some outraged simpleton comes along ranting about some minor spelling mistake or a slightly incorrect game result. Truly astonishing. I am amazed by your politeness.

Keep up the good job and let me know if the grammatical Golden Age is ever found! 

anair64 anair64 10/19/2018 10:01
@macauley - Kudos on fixing it so quickly. Didn't mean to offend, just that my expectations are that much higher from the chessbase site, especially the .com site ;)
macauley macauley 10/19/2018 09:31
@anair64 - Wow. The words "had been" were omitted. Try a nostalgic trip through our archives and use the "feedback to the editors" link when you think you've found the grammatical Golden Age. Also, here's Frederic's author page: - his most recent column was ten days ago.
anair64 anair64 10/19/2018 07:30
----when he was nine months older than 'Pragg'-------
This should instead read something like - took him nine months longer than [Pragg]. He can never, ever be nine months older than Pragg! :)
For a moment I thought this was a Sagar Shah article but was surprised to see Macauley instead! Oh how I miss Frederic :'(
KevinC KevinC 10/18/2018 10:42
Could Minh Thang Tran's play have been any more suicidal? I thought I was watching something from the 1800's.
VVI VVI 10/18/2018 08:31
Congrats! to Javokhir Sindarov . He beat pragg`s record by 8 days.