Abdusattorov second youngest GM ever

by Frederic Friedel
10/29/2017 – Nodirbek Abdusattorov has GM norms from last year's Chigorin Memorial and from Abu Dhabi 2017. And now he's added a third in the Chigorin Memorial in St. Petersburg this weekend. Combined with a rating over 2500 he has met the qualifications for the GM title several months ahead of the previous record held by Parimarjan Negi. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Nordirbek does it

The Chigorin Memorial is clearly going to be a tournament Nordirbek Abdusattorov remembers fondly, having now scored two of his three GM-norms at the annual St. Petersburg event. Two draws in the final two rounds was enough to secure the requisite 2600+ performance rating.

Abdusattorov's results

Rd. Bo. SNo   Name Rtg FED Res.
1 37 215   Ismagilov Damir 2058 RUS w 1
2 30 134   Tugarin Anton 2251 RUS s 1
3 19 93 WGM Belenkaya Dina 2346 RUS w 1
4 2 4 GM Sethuraman S.P. 2632 IND s 1
5 3 19 GM Vorobiov Evgeny E. 2555 RUS s ½
6 6 23 GM Levin Evgeny A. 2545 RUS w 1
7 3 7 GM Gordievsky Dmitry 2605 RUS s 0
8 12 21 GM Timofeev Artyom 2549 RUS w ½
9 7 5 GM Alekseev Evgeny 2622 RUS s ½

The Guardian's correspondent Leonard Barden predicted this happening in January this year, and sent us his updated thoughts on Abdusattorov's achievement:

Nodibirek Abdusattorov already looked exceptional when he beat two GMs at Tashkent 2014 when only nine years old.  In the 2016 Chigorin Memorial the 11-year-old scored the youngest 2650 GM norm in chess history with impressive strategic play including a Karpovian win against Brazil's Alexander Fier.  Again this week his ultra-patient style brought a key point in his sixth round win over GM Evgeny Levin.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov in 2015

My impression is that he could have achieved his second and third norms still earlier, thus breaking Karjakin's world age record, if he had been given the right opportunities and backing. I already pointed this out in my Guardian article in January this year, which noted that time was running out for the world record and that he needed to play in more GM tournaments in the West. In the event he has had far fewer opportunities than his Indian rival Praggnanandhaa, and his only 2017 event in the West has been the Millenials junior match at Saint Louis where no norms were possible.

One must point the finger at Uzbek chess and sports officials who missed a strong possibility for a landmark achievement which would have given their country favourable publicity in global media. Now, surely, Abdusattorov must be given the chance to show his skills in a major Western event. Tata Steel Wijk Challengers officials, it's over to you.

What of Praggnanandhaa, who has also played in the Chigorin Memorial this week?  The Indian prodigy, who has until March 2018 to break Karjakin's record, has a 2500 rating but no GM norms yet. He had serious opportunities in recent months at both Vlissingen and the Isle of Man to make a 2600 GM norm, but faded in the crucial closing rounds. At St. Petersburg this week he has had a form crisis, a below 2300 performance after seven rounds which was worse than his sister, WIM R. Vaishali, who defeated a 2500 IM and reached 5/7 for her career best performance.

Praggnanandhaa probably still has a better than even chance of breaking Karjakin's record, since India plans a circuit of three GM tournaments around the turn of the year which will give him a very important home advantage.  But his margin for error has narrowed, and Abdusattorov's breakthrough increases the pressure. The prodigy race is truly on, and should be fascinating to follow in the next few years.

(Above) Abdusattorov at the World Youth Championship in 2015 | Photo: Reint Dykema
(Below) At the Sharjah Masters (March 2017) | Photo: Maria Emelianova / shjchessmasters.com

Nordirbek Abdusattorov

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Final standings (Top 20)

Rk. Name  TB1 
1 Alekseenko Kirill 55,0
2 Paravyan David 55,0
3 Sethuraman S.P. 53,0
4 Sarana Alexey 51,0
5 Triapishko Alexandr 55,5
6 Moiseenko Vadim 55,5
7 Sjugirov Sanan 54,0
8 Gordievsky Dmitry 53,0
  Kobalia Mikhail 53,0
10 Mikaelyan Arman 50,0
11 Liu Yan 49,5
12 Predke Alexandr 49,5
13 Timofeev Artyom 49,0
14 Sengupta Deep 48,5
15 Artemiev Vladislav 59,0
16 Abdusattorov Nodirbek 55,5
17 Pridorozhni Aleksei 53,0
18 Vorobiov Evgeny E. 53,0
19 Usmanov Vasily 52,5
20 Volkov Sergey 50,5

...360 players

Full results (Chess-Results)


For those eagle-eyed readers who notice that all but one of Abdusattorov's opponents were Russian, and may recall that FIDE requirements for norm-seekers generally require a mix of federations, don't fret — there's an exception for certain Swiss tournaments, and the Chigorin Memorial qualifies. Per the FIDE Handbook

1.43e — Swiss System tournaments in which participants include in every round at least 20 FIDE Rated players not from the host federation, but from at least 3 federations and at least 10 of whom hold GM, IM, WGM,WIM titles.

Update October 30: ChessBase has received a copy of Abdusattorov's passport which indicates his date of birth as September 18th, 2004.

There is also some uncertainly as to Abdusattorov's precise age. We initially reported his 13th birthday to be upcoming on December 1st, but that was not correct. He was born on September 18, 2004. We've updated the table below.

He can safely be said to be the second youngest grandmaster in history, as he is easily beating Parimarjan Negi and Magnus Carlsen. Here's a list of all other players who become grandmasters before they were 15: 

No. Player Country Age
1. Sergey Karjakin  Ukraine 12 years, 7 months, 0 days
2. Nodirbek Abdusattorov Uzbekistan 13 years, 1 month, 11 days
3. Parimarjan Negi  India 13 years, 4 months, 22 days
4. Magnus Carlsen  Norway 13 years, 4 months, 27 days
5. Wei Yi  China 13 years, 8 months, 23 days
6. Bu Xiangzhi  China 13 years, 10 months, 13 days
7. Samuel Sevian  USA 13 years, 10 months, 27 days
8. Richárd Rapport  Hungary 13 years, 11 months, 6 days
9. Teimour Radjabov  Azerbaijan 14 years, 0 months, 14 days
10. Ruslan Ponomariov  Ukraine 14 years, 0 months, 17 days
11. Awonder Liang  USA 14 years, 1 month
12. Wesley So  Philippines 14 years, 1 month, 28 days
13. Étienne Bacrot  France 14 years, 2 months, 0 days
14. Illya Nyzhnyk  Ukraine 14 years, 3 months, 2 days
15. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave  France 14 years, 4 months
16. Péter Lékó  Hungary 14 years, 4 months, 22 days
17. Jorge Cori  Peru 14 years, 5 months, 15 days
18. Hou Yifan  China 14 years, 6 months, 16 days
19. Jeffery Xiong  USA 14 years, 6 months, 25 days
20. Anish Giri  Russia 14 years, 7 months, 2 days
21. Yuriy Kuzubov  Ukraine 14 years, 7 months, 12 days
22. Bogdan Daniel Deac  Romania 14 years, 7 months, 27 days
23. Dariusz Swiercz  Poland 14 years, 7 months, 29 days
24. Aryan Chopra  India 14 years, 9 months, 3 days
25. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son  Vietnam 14 years, 10 months
26. Daniil Dubov  Russia 14 years, 11 months, 14 days
27. Ray Robson  USA 14 years, 11 months, 16 days
28. Fabiano Caruana  Italy 14 years, 11 months, 20 days
29. Yu Yangyi  China 14 years, 11 months, 23 days



Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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