Made it! Abhi youngest GM in history!

by ChessBase
6/30/2021 – This remarkable lad from Englishtown, New Jersey, playing with great determination under Covid restrictions in Hungary, has scored his third and final GM norm. He has earned the title at the age of 12 years, 4 months, and 25 days, which is 66 days sooner than Sergey Karjakin in 2002. This comes after he had broken the record of youngest US master (at nine years and two months), and youngest International Master ever (at 10 years, nine months, and three days). Congratulations, Abhi!

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US Chess Press Release:

American Abhimanyu (“Abhi”) Mishra is the Youngest Grandmaster in History! 

Twelve-year-old from Englishtown, New Jersey breaks 19-year-old record with 66 days to spare 

CROSSVILLE, TN: 12-year-old grandmaster Abhimanyu (“Abhi”) Mishra from Englishtown, New Jersey is the youngest grandmaster (GM) in history, breaking the record formerly held by Russian GM Sergey Karjakin. Karjakin set the record in 2002 and went on to unsuccessfully challenge GM Magnus Carlsen in a 2016 World Championship match. 

At age 12 years, 4 months, and 25 days, Mishra earned his third and final norm (a performance-level measure) on June 30, 2021 at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix tournament in Budapest, Hungary, defeating GM Leon Luke Mendonca to take the final step on his long journey to grandmaster. He had already fulfilled the rating requirement, breaking the 2500 Elo mark in June, and FIDE—the World Chess Federation—must still confirm the record. With Karjakin having earned his title at age 12 years and 7 months, Mishra bettered the previous mark by approximately 66 days. 

This is not Mishra’s first record shattered. He was the youngest master in U.S. history at nine years and two months, and the youngest International Master ever at 10 years, nine months, and three days, breaking the record previously held by GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa by 17 days. 

The US Chess Federation (US Chess) is the official governing body and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for chess players and chess supporters in the United States. Our mission is to empower people, enrich lives, and enhance communities through chess. Our vision is that chess is recognized as an essential tool that is inclusive, benefits education and rehabilitation, and promotes recreation and friendly competition. 

Photo: Mishra: Photo by Justin N. Lane, of US Chess. Chess Life Cover: Courtesy of US Chess

Sagar Shah describes the final game Abhi faced to make his norm

Youngest Grandmasters in History

Nr Name Nat y m d born GM
1 Abhimanyu Mishra USA 12 4 25 2009 2021
2 Sergey Karjakin UKR 12 7 0 1990 2002
3 Dommaraju Gukesh IND 12 7 17 2006 2019
4 Javokhir Sindarov UZB 12 10 10 2005 2018
5 Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu IND 12 10 13 2005 2018
6 Nodirbek Abdusattorov UZB 13 1 11 2004 2017
7 Parimarjan Negi IND 13 4 22 1993 2006
8 Magnus Carlsen NOR 13 4 27 1990 2004
9 Wei Yi CHN 13 8 23 1999 2013
10 Raunak Sadhwani IND 13 9 28 2005 2019
11 Bu Xiangzhi CHN 13 10 13 1985 1999
12 Samuel Sevian USA 13 10 27 2000 2014
13 Richard Rapport HUN 13 11 15 1996 2010
14 Teimour Radjabov AZE 14 0 14 1987 2001
15 Ruslan Ponomariov UKR 14 0 17 1983 1997
16 Nihal Sarin IND 14 1 1 2004 2018
17 Awonder Liang USA 14 1 20 2003 2017
18 Wesley So PHI 14 1 28 1993 2007
19 Etienne Bacrot FRA 14 2 0 1983 1997
20 Illya Nyzhnyk UKR 14 3 2 1996 2010
21 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave FRA 14 4 0 1990 2005
22 Peter Leko HUN 14 4 22 1979 1994
23 Jorge Cori PER 14 5 15 1995 2009
24 Hou Yifan CHN 14 6 2 1994 2008
25 Jeffery Xiong USA 14 6 25 2000 2014
26 Anish Giri RUS 14 7 2 1994 2009
27 Yuriy Kuzubov UKR 14 7 12 1990 2004
28 Bogdan Daniel Deac ROM 14 7 27 2001 2016
29 Dariusz Swiercz POL 14 7 29 1994 2009
30 Alireza Firouzja IRN 14 8 2 2003 2018
31 Aryan Chopra IND 14 9 3 2001 2016

Our readers are welcome to help us keep this list up to date!

ChessBase stories

  • 5/8/2021 – Will he break the world record?
  • He learnt the rules of chess when he was two and a half years old. He became the youngest national expert at the age of seven, and the youngest National Master in the US at the age of nine. In late 2019, he beat R. Praggnanandhaa's record of becoming the youngest IM ever. Meet Abhimanyu Mishra, a youngster who lives in New Jersey, USA. Abhimanyu is an amazing talent and is now going after the record of becoming the youngest GM in history. In spite of the Covid pandemic. And you can help him achieve his goal!
  • 5/11/2021 – Second GM norm for Abhimanyu
  • 12-year-old Abhimanyu Mishra scored his 2nd GM norm at the First Saturday GM Round Robin May 2021 with a round to spare. This is the second consecutive event in which Abhimanyu has scored a GM norm, with a dominating 2700+ performance. He is now just 29 Elo points and one GM norm away from becoming the world's youngest grandmaster. Abhi has annotated his eighth round game for us, and will play against ChessBase Premium Members tomorrow.
  • 5/25/2021 – Abhimanyu eight points from the title
    This is a 12-year-old on a mission: to become the youngest chess grandmaster in history. Abhimanyu Mishra has made two norms, but in his latest tournament suffered a setback: in time trouble refused a draw offer by a GM and discovered that this is not such a great idea. Abhi lost the game, and a second one to boot, but staged a remarkable comeback with four back-to-back wins. He gained nine rating points and is currently just eight points from his goal. Read the messages of encouragement the lad from Englishtown, New Jersey, is getting from well-known personalities from all over the world.  

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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karavamudan karavamudan 7/3/2021 06:27
Future will tell how far this lad goes. Let it be the judge of Abhi's mettle. This is more important than the record.
This record will glow until someone else breaks it.
Shakey Shakey 7/2/2021 03:58
Well done to the lad.
That said, and a genuine query now.
How legit are these Serbian and Hungary APAs? Are they competitive? Or is it genuinely *understood* what is expected and what happens?
Smerdon touched on this in his Fighting Chess Index noting some 'usual suspects' from these events.
Zagliveri_chess makes a valid comment there.
PhishMaster PhishMaster 7/2/2021 11:17
To all the people here saying the title is "devalued", that is both true and false. In some ways, it is easier to get today since there is definitely more opportunity; BUT, on the other hand, players are stronger than ever today. So, at best it is a wash, but still do not agree. New GMs today are the strongest ever.
Zagliveri_chess Zagliveri_chess 7/2/2021 09:18
Instead of arguing influenced by sentimentalities, I prefer to look at facts. GM Karjakin got his first norm at the Aeroflot Open, a prestigious tournament. His opponents included active super-GMs. Active. Super-GMs. I do not immediately recognize any of Abhi's opponents at the tournament he got his final norm. At the time of his first GM norm, Karjakin was a second of the then FIDE world champion Ponomariov. A perhaps fair comparison would be for Fabi qualifying (again) to the world championship match against Carlsen and choosing Mishra as his second.

The second norm for Karjakin came at a tournament with 100+ participants. He could not prepare himself against every possible opponent. In a closed round robin tournament, such as those Mishra attended, comprising opponents who had not played an official game for a long time he could certainly prepare against all.

After Soviet Union disintegrated, a bunch of older GMs arrived or were visiting Greece, where I grew up. I managed to win 5 official, classical time control games against them. All wins came at games that lasted past the 40 move time control. I honestly believe I won those games because my opponents have not played for a while and got tired or blundered material. I purposely prolonged the games. If, at the time, I had the sponsorship to travel across eastern Europe and participate in tournaments frequented by these guys, I would likely be able to get the two more norms I needed to secure the IM title.

Given that the Olympic Games are a few days away, I would compare the age at which selected GM titles are earned recently as a 100m race at high altitude with strong supporting wind. I guess FIDE does not disqualify achievements based on wind conditions.
Zagliveri_chess Zagliveri_chess 7/2/2021 09:17
@ karavamudan: I made clear in my post that Mishra's achievement is remarkable. Becoming a GM is a feat. I know that well as I tried earnestly to become an IM but failed (only 1 norm very long time ago).

@ chessgod0: I agree, FIDE is responsible and those who were running it for personal enrichment. I mentioned Makropoulos as an example.
karavamudan karavamudan 7/2/2021 04:09
C'mon guys, your tweets sounds like sour grapes.

He has achieved the feat of youngest Master and IM as well. Where they fixed as well? Give where credit is due and let his games speak for themselves.

Despite COVID, the young lad and his family persisted in the goal and emerged triumphant. A lot to be learnt here on how goals may be attained if one persists long enough.

I am sure that if continues instead of resting on his laurels, Magnus will soon be playing him.
MauvaisFou MauvaisFou 7/1/2021 11:10
To AgainAgain:
yes, you are right. Interesting would be to see the youngest to enter the top 50, top 20, top 10 ...
And to think that Fischer and Judit were "old" when they became GM, compared to these kids !
MauvaisFou MauvaisFou 7/1/2021 11:01
not many really top players in this list of 31

By the way, what a pity that Leko lost his last game to Kramnik,
he was an incredibly strong and deep player,
and now he is a great commentator
chessgod0 chessgod0 7/1/2021 09:48
@ Zagliveri_chess

Some good points---the GM title has definitely become devalued since Karjakin's youthful days. But you can blame FIDE for that.
daftarche daftarche 7/1/2021 09:18
I agree with the last post. I am more curious to see how soon he will reach 2700. Thats the real test for his skill.
Zagliveri_chess Zagliveri_chess 7/1/2021 08:04
Mishra is a really good player but I do not think his achievement is comparable to Karjakin's or others. Apples and oranges. It looks like an orchestrated effort designed to attract media hype, and successful at that.

Orchestrated because his norms were obtained in
1. carefully selected closed tournaments (low number of participants)
2. round robin tournaments (opponents known a priori, as opposed to an open tournament with 100s of participants)
3. tournaments with GMs way past their prime and rating way below the 2500 limit.

Such tournaments are suspect. When Makropoulos was running FIDE under president Illumzhinov, he was offering to organize GM-norm, closed, round-robin tournaments, with GMs taken out of moth-balls, provided of course that interested parties were willing to pay his fees. In such conditions, a decent IM had good chances of completing 3 norms and temporarily reaching 2500 to get the GM title.

To avoid this from happening, at least two of the GM norms should be achieved in open, swiss-system based tournaments with at least 100 participants.
Rejean Tremblay Rejean Tremblay 7/1/2021 05:44
Marc'Andria Maurizzi became GM at 14 years old and 5 days, good for the 14th place before Radjabov.
amarpan amarpan 7/1/2021 05:36
Samuel Sevian, Awonder Liang and Abhi together may one day take USA to an Olympiad gold.
AgainAgain AgainAgain 7/1/2021 01:03
Great achievement!
However the number of grandmasters more than doubled since 2002, so Karjakin's record is still way more impressive. When he became a grandmaster he entered a much more elite club.
PhishMaster PhishMaster 7/1/2021 12:33
He clearly must love what he is doing, and from what I read, he works INCREDIBLY hard at chess. That is ultimately what is necessary to reach the very top, and he could do it in 6-10 years if he keeps up his study pace.

Other incredible workers: Fischer (probably the hardest worker ever) and Kasparov (second) who knows where the limit is?
karavamudan karavamudan 7/1/2021 06:34
There were many detractors who questioned the motives of his supporters and said young kinds should not be pushed for mere records.

Glad to see Abhimanyu having his own will, enough determination, talent to succeed in his quest. His family support was crucial and they should be praised as well.

Now he will have many who will praise him but he should be balanced and have world chess championships- both junior and senior in his sights.

Congrats Abhimanyu. Bring more accolades to both Nations India nd US.
Jorge Shinozaki Jorge Shinozaki 7/1/2021 06:23
Congratulations to the youngest GM in history!
I'm looking forward to see Abhi's future achievements.
By the way, I wonder who is the oldest to achieve the GM title.
ChessTalk ChessTalk 7/1/2021 04:22
Amazing feat!!
sshivaji sshivaji 7/1/2021 04:01
We had an article about him a few months ago. Glad that he became GM shortly! Congrats! Now we can also proudly say that the world's youngest GM is an American.
mikolov mikolov 7/1/2021 03:22
A great accomplishment. What's next? USA champ, World Champ the bar is set very high.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 7/1/2021 12:10
Enough cash was definitely thrown at the pursuit...probably more than for any other player in the history of the game. Glad he has his piece of paper to show for it as it would have been a shame otherwise and much ink would have been spilled over the failure. As is, the land of the free and home of the brave can celebrate - happy to see he made it!!
Queenslander Queenslander 7/1/2021 12:02
Frederic, The list above still isn't correct. It states that Abhi was born in 1009, which would make him around 1012 years old. Just saying!
riteshmathew riteshmathew 6/30/2021 11:57
His birth year shows as 1009. That would make him 1,012 years old and oldest GM in history! ;-) :-D
Frederic Frederic 6/30/2021 11:11
Sorry John Givler, corrected! I have spoken to him -- he's a regular New Jersey lad.
John S Givler John S Givler 6/30/2021 10:56
The article's "Youngest GMs in History" list mistakenly shows Abhimanyu Mishra's federation as IND; FIDE correctly reports the federation is USA. (There are indeed several "Abhimanyu Mishra IND" players in the FIDE rating list, but none were born in 1009. Or even in 2009.)
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 6/30/2021 09:39
okay now he has become a chess GM

will he now focus on football, like Simen Agdestein? To be come GM in two things?
e-mars e-mars 6/30/2021 09:19
I really doubt he was born in 1009
alpine alpine 6/30/2021 08:45
Congrats GM Mishra, wishing you many years of success and fighting spirit!