Will he break the world record?

by Sagar Shah
5/8/2021 – 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!

ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2021 ChessBase 16 - Mega package Edition 2021

Your key to fresh ideas, precise analyses and targeted training!
Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.

More...

Before we come to the story here are some statistics. Remember when, in 1958, Bobby Fischer became the youngest grandmaster in history? It happened when he was 15 years, six months and one day old – and the world marvelled. In the meantime at least 50 super-talents have beaten Fischer's record, including two female players (Hou Yifan, number 23 on the list, and Judit Polgar, number 48). Fischer is currently recorded as number 51. We published a story, Chess prodigies and mini-GMs update, when Pragg made his title in 2018. Here are the top 30 from that list, updated with Raunak Sadhwani, who gained his title a year later.

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

Now there is a new candidate for place one – and you can help him achieve his goal. The boy who is racing to break Karjakin's youngest GM record is Abhimanyu Mishra.

Look at that intensity | Photo: David Llada

Abhimanyu learnt the rules of chess when he was two and a half years old. He became the youngest national expert at the age of 7 years and 6 months, the youngest National Master in the US at the age of nine years and two months. In late 2019, he beat R. Praggnanandhaa's record of becoming the youngest IM in the world at the age of 10 years, 9 months and 3 days. The youngster who lives in New Jersey, USA. He is an amazing talent and is now going after the record of becoming the world's youngest GM – ever. 

But wait! What about the Covid19 pandemic? Nothing, absolutely nothing, stands in between Abhimanyu and his goals! Check out this amazing story. 

Will Abhimanyu Mishra become the youngest GM in the world?

When Abhimanyu Mishra eclipsed Praggnanandhaa's record of the youngest International Master by 17 days, we knew the boy was special. Abhimanyu achieved the feat in late 2019 and had another 1 year and 9 months to break Karjakin's record of becoming the youngest GM in the world. Judging by Abhimanyu's strength and the way he was improving, this feat seemed achievable. 

Back in 2016, Abhimanyu had already made up his mind - "I want to be the youngest grandmaster and one day become World Champion!" (Image Credit: Al Lawrence, "Faces Across the Board," September 2016 Chess Life magazine.) But the Corona virus forced the lad to sit at home, as time ticked by. For close to a year Abhimanyu waited patiently at his home in New Jersey, USA. He prepared meticulously and kept himself ready for the moment when things would return to normalcy and over the board tournaments would begin.

For a boy who was brought up on munching pawns and pieces since the age of two and a half years – the picture is of him with his dad, Hemant Mishra – this was an extremely difficult period.

In December 2020, Abhimanyu began playing some tournaments in the USA. With a rating of 2338 and no GM norms in hand, the aim of breaking Karjakin's record of becoming a GM by the age of 12 years and 7 months looked difficult. Being born on 9th of February 2009, Abhimanyu has time until 5th of September 2021 to achieve this feat of becoming the youngest GM in history.

The Thanksgiving CCCSA GM norm invitational in December helped him gain 18 Elo points, but the Winter CCCSA GM norm Invitational wasn't great. He lost 19 Elo points. In February he played a six round event at the Charlotte Masters and gained 16 Elo points. Before March 2021 began Abhimanyu had improved to an Elo of 2370! That's when the little boy decide to step on the gas.

Ahbimanyu's performance at the Spring 2021 CCCSA GM norm invitational was very strong. He scored 5.5/9 and missed out on his GM norm, but impressed everyone by gaining a whopping 37 rating points that pushed him to 2407 on the Elo scale. 

But more importantly he beat three extremely strong players in the event: GMs Vladimir Belous, Peter Prohaszka and IM Craig Hilby. Here are all three of Abhimanyu's wins from the GM norm event. But before we show them to you in a replay window here are three little quiz questions:

  • In Abhimanyu vs Belous White's next move is a typical idea in the Benko. It was impressive that Abhimanyu knew it. White to play and fight for an opening advantage.
     
  • In Prohaszka vs Abhimanyu White is attacking the pawn on c6. How did Abhimanyu solve his issues tactically? Hint: It's a subtle little move.
     
  • In Craig Hilby vs Abhimanyu White has just pushed his pawn to h5 and is going after Black's king. How did Abhimanyu respond to this?

You will find the answers in the annotated games:

 

Abhimanyu made it to the cover of the October 2020 issue of Chess Life magazine run by the US Chess Federation, which is one of the most widely read chess magazines in the world.

It was the end of March and Abhimanyu had crossed 2400. He still had six months left to break Karjakin's record of the youngest GM in the world, but it seemed unlikely now. Not only did he have to gain 92 more Elo points, he also had all his three GM norms left. Add to it the fact that there was a widespread fear of travelling due to Corona virus, things looked grim. But Abhimanyu and his family were not going to give up this fight easily! They packed their bags and got ready to travel to Europe where there were more tournaments happening and more chances to make norms. Talking about racing to the youngest GM title, father Hemant says,

"It is too big a goal and hence, we decided to take some calculated risks. We were eagerly and patiently waiting for the last 14 months and were training heavily and waiting for the over the board opportunities. Abhimanyu has been constantly working with GM Arun Prasad and GM Magesh Chandran and has recently enrolled in Pro Chess Training. All of these avenues have helped him become a stronger chess player. Considering the pandemic and very few tournaments in last 14 months, it is five times more difficult to achieve the youngest GM record and we were hopeful that God will at least give us few tournaments and we will fight till the last day. Everyone is afraid. But it was something that we were planning since a long time. I was the weakest link, a backward pawn, in this fight because of my weight. In order to handle any worst case scenarios I lost 45 pounds (20 kgs) in last 6 months. This will allow me to handle worst scenarios better. In the long run this record may not mean anything but I am sure if Abhimanyu can get it he will be super confident in taking up any challenges in his life. Nothing will be more complex than beating this record without many tournaments and amidst potential risk of life and for him playing with mask on for hours. I believe in God and I am happy to take this chance to play over the board events."

About the leave the comfort of home sweet home, the flight to Budapest, and during a game.

"There was much uncertainty in everything when we planned the trip here. Lockdown/curfew in Europe, ten day quarantine period in Hungary. Getting the letter from Hungarian consulate was not at all easy. The worst part was the negative PCR test requirement to board the flight (depending on the airline) and to do it once again while entering into a new country. No clear information was available and we were with customer calls for hours! We went for two PCR tests in last five days before the travel. Even after that there was a risk to not make it. Finally we decided to book one way flexible tickets to Hungary. I am very glad that Abhi made his first GM norm. It is all making sense now."

Playing entire tournaments with a mask on your face is not easy. But not play tournaments at all was even more painful! I have tracked his progress in Hungary in my report on ChessBase India, extensively, but here I am going to give you a summary.

  • Abhimanyu's performance in the 2nd Vezerkepzo GM (14-22nd April) was very solid. He gained 16 Elo points taking his live rating to 2423. The boy missed his GM norm by a whisker, but he had no time to dwell on the performance. 
  • The next tournament, the Vezerkepzo GM April 2021 began on the 24th of April. The opponents were almost the same as in the previous event and the boy now had a firm grasp of his opponents' playing style. He notched up one win after another, five in all to perform at an Elo of 2603 and score his first GM norm.

Masked players at the Hungarian events, Abhimanyu with his maiden GM norm!

Here are some of the games he played:

 

Second GM norm?

After two back to back events, one would have imagined that the little boy would take some rest. That was not the case! Abhimanyu immediately signed himself up for the 1st Saturday GM norm tournament from the 1st to the 11th of May 2021. Would he be too tired? Would he slow down? Well, as on 7th of May 2021, six rounds have been completed and look at the standings below.

Abhimanyu is crushing the tournament with a massive 5.5/6. What a performance! He began with four wins out of four games and then drew his fifth round and won his sixth game. He now has a live rating of 2467 and needs just 1.5/3 to score his second GM norm.

Rk. SNo     Name sex FED Rtg Bdld  TB1   TB2   TB3  Rp K rtg+/-
1 9
 
IM Mishra Abhimanyu   USA 2424   5,5 14,00 0,0 2783 10 21,5
2 8
 
IM Issa Rafat   JOR 2354   4,0 9,25 0,0 2495 10 11,4
3 4
 
FM Papp Levente   HUN 2394   3,5 10,50 0,0 2469 10 6,2
4 6
 
FM Bodi Tibor   HUN 2374   3,0 9,00 0,0 2485 20 15,0
5 1
 
GM Plat Vojtech   CZE 2556   3,0 5,50 0,0 2374 10 -14,1
6 5
 
GM Czebe Attila   HUN 2389   2,5 7,00 0,0 2344 10 -4,1
7 3
 
GM Pacher Milan   SVK 2437   2,5 4,50 0,0 2339 10 -8,4
8 7
 
GM Farago Ivan   HUN 2340   2,0 5,25 0,0 2246 10 -7,3
9 2
 
  Souhardo Basak   IND 2359   2,0 4,00 0,0 2290 20 -11,2
10 10
 
FM Seemann Jakub   POL 2288   1,0 3,00 0,0 2169 20 -14,2

A young boy and his father are on a mission – the mission is for Abhimanyu to become the youngest GM in history. The boy is on track, he has another four months left. All he needs is 33 Elo points and two GM norms. For now Hemant has planned a couple of more events in Hungary, and then they move to Serbia. Do you think Abhimanyu will break Karjakin's record in the days to come? I do not know if he will or not, but seeing the quality of his games, I can assure you that he is soon going to be one of the best players in the world of chess!

A call for help

By Hemant Mishra

We are heavily investing in Abhimanyu's chess. We have spent in the range of US $200,000 and almost run out of savings. My wife and I are IT professionals and work with a Data Management company. Following are the key expenses for which we have spent until now.

  1. All open big tournaments in USA. Played in most of these events in the last eight years. The total expense =  $40,000
  2. He got all his IM norms playing in closed GM norm invitational events. These are costly events with $800 entry fee + hotel + travel. He has played in many such events. The total expense = $25,000
  3. He has attended many elite camps by Gelfand, Kramnik, Aagaard, Chuchelov etc. The total expense = $20,000
  4. Other international trips to Greece, Brazil, Costa Rica, Canada and others should be easily in the range of $10,000
  5. He has been working with GM Arun Prasad for the last seven years, and there have been sessions almost every alternate day. The total expenses = $35,000
  6. Working with Chess Kings and Queens Academy for last eight years. The total expenses = $10,000
  7. Part of elite group in Prochess training. The total expenses = $250 per month.
  8. I got the powerful servers configured for him 64 core with 4 RTX2080. Total expense = $10,000.
  9. I learnt all things related to Neural Net and other engine's internals and work with him for up to 25 hours a week so that we are up to date with the recent developments.
  10. Books, software, online subscription etc. Total expense = $8,000
  11. Public schools are very strict in USA about attendance and there was no way to compete at the highest level while attending these schools. So I had to enroll him into a private school which is somewhat flexible and that helps him to play in more tournaments. Total expense = $25,000 for the last four years.

For the last one year, I started driving 1000 km each way to save on flight charges. He has just four more months to chase the youngest GM record. I request you to support Abhimanyu in his bid to become one of the best players in the world of chess.

Regards,
Hemant

This is your opportunity: you can contribute to supporting the project by donating to it now. Abhimanyu and his father will be LIVE on the ChessBase India channel on 12th of May 2021 at 8 p.m. IST, and you can interact with them.

In addition:


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India website, the biggest chess news outlet in the country.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/11/2021 01:37
Congratulations, Abhymaniu!
lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/11/2021 01:36
@fgkdjlkag There are legal restrictions imposed by the authorities and there are restrictions imposed by common sense. Drinking a liter of vodka and eating a bucket of mayonnaise seems to be a bad idea even if it's legal. The authorities will not enforce all the restrictions that one needs to respect. Instead, they enforce restrictions that either violate some moral code (e.g. "thou shall not kill") or generates some danger upon others ("do not pass when the lamp is red"). The coronavirus is a new challenge and the authorities aim to impose some restrictions, but they are afraid of wholescale riots, so their decision is partially scientifical and partially political.

However, we are not constrainted by large-scale politics and we are able to adhere to the rules of common sense. Did I contact people? How widespread is the disease where I live? Etc. I would not consider automatically some travelling chess players to be walking dangers, they might have not met with anyone, in which case they are not dangerous at all. The profession of the lad is chess, it's normal that they want to travel to tournaments.
Denix Denix 5/11/2021 09:10
I thought it was GM Surya Surya Shekhar Ganguly with him in the photo
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 5/11/2021 02:13
To clarify my comment about the virus, of course the situation is different in each country, but you have had and have countries with similar rates of infection who are doing very different things, and also very little coordination between countries for a virus that has no qualms about crossing borders.
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 5/11/2021 02:11
Was stated below, "Whether travel should be allowed or not is a decision best left to the authorities of the respective countries." Absolutely not. The authorities of most of the world's countries have utterly and completely failed in their guidance and rules for controlling the virus, and continue to do so. Just the fact that you have very different rules in place in different countries, but the same virus, is evidence enough that the rules are not scientifically based.

@adbennet, just because the student turned out very well, means that the decision not to enter tournaments was correct? That does not follow, and also consider the intellectual development, friends, travel, etc, that she would have been exposed to by competing in tournaments. It's up to the parents, coaches, tournament directors, mentors, bystanders, etc to create a positive experience for children playing in tournaments.
sotovkin sotovkin 5/11/2021 01:02
Dear Frederic,

The range of comments says a lot more about the rationalizations of those who have failed to fulfill their own goals (with or without their parents support) than the fledgeling Grandmaster this article discusses.

Thank you for your commentary and coverage of a family working together striving for excellence.
tough tough 5/11/2021 12:35
Hi, isn't a wrong/bad idea if a 12yrs old want to reach the top and demonstrate a strong will for that, but what it seems to me by reading this article is a kind of obsession from the parents.
I will be happy to be wrong, otherwise it would be so bad for a young kid, growing up in a possible
unhealthy psychological development, pushing him to the limit as it seems.
I wish all the best to Abhimanyu, but maybe the best for him now isn't to be the next youngest GM ?
Saying that these kind of comments are bitter or jealous, means you didn't get the point: it doesn't change anything to me if he will get to the top or not, if I spent a few minutes here is just for the kid, I just want to share my idea about that article and about a possible issue.
I'm quite disappointed by the way FF reacts to these messages, also about CB asking for money in the article
for him. I'll never give money to anyone asking in such a way, just to reach this goal. That makes me sick.
There isn't any record to break, anything to reach, nothing so important as this young boy who
needs to be protected, let him just do what he really wants, not to satisfy his parents seeking for a record...
Queenslander Queenslander 5/11/2021 12:02
Thank you for your posts Frederic. Unlike some others who have posted here, I am a career educational professional who specialises in the interplay between sensitive educational design and meeting developmental needs in childhood/adolescence. There are arguments on both sides concerning intensive coaching or 'hot-housing' in chess, various sports, learning languages and other academic pursuits. In my opinion, a central issue is the well-being of the child/young adolescent. If they enjoy chess, tennis, violin or mathematics, and they are not maltreated, then I don't see much wrong with intensive coaching.
Krishna Mohan Krishna Mohan 5/10/2021 11:23
Too much pressure on the young kid. Let him just enjoy and play chess and we might get a great chess player. Does it really make sense that he hits the youngest GM mark only to burn out in a year or two? Great chess games come from great chess players and we need to let him grow to be one.
Frederic Frederic 5/10/2021 11:07
This may cause chagrin to some people, but the kid just made his second GM norm, with a 2703 rating performance. He is ecstatic and has annotated two games for us, immediately after the final round: https://chessbase.in/news/Abhimanyu-Mishra-scores-his-2nd-GM-norm. I'm looking forward to a long chat with him tomorrow.
Petrosianic Petrosianic 5/10/2021 07:59
"Will Mishra become the youngest GM, even with us doing our level best to jinx him, and building up people's expectations so they'll think he failed if he doesn't do it? Well, if he can overcome the monkey we're putting on his back, he'll really deserve it!"
brabo_hf brabo_hf 5/10/2021 07:51
Oh we go again that way. Bye.
dakma dakma 5/10/2021 07:15
Personal responsibility is an admirable thing but not when advocated by people who are clearly being disingenuous
lajosarpad lajosarpad 5/10/2021 06:10
Good luck! I enjoyed reading the post am hoping for the success of the lad. I did not see any bitterness, nor envy in the comment-section. I've seen some assumptions though on both sides and I think the real answer to the unformulated question in this debate could be answered if someone would interview the boy when he is an adult, no longer dependent on his parents, whether this support was a blessing or a curse for him. As about the parents, they sacrificed everything for the boy. That alone deserves respect IMHO.
brabo_hf brabo_hf 5/10/2021 05:54
It is very easy to avoid responsiblity by just referring to the authorities. We all know that travelers are the first and major reason that this virus (and its variants) is able to travel from country to country. B.t.w. I consider always the parents responsible for the actions of their children, never the children itself. Also the writer of this article is not the child itself but an adult of whom I expect he knows that the virus has been spread by travelers. If you protect human lives then you don't advertise travelling today to chess-tournaments as something ok. I am also very very eager to play again on the board chess but I resigned myself that it won't be for soon so I started to play in my first classical online tournament see https://oks.myvcc.be/. That is the kind of alternatives which I expect Chessbase should advertise instead.
dakma dakma 5/10/2021 04:57
Whether travel should be allowed or not is a decision best left to the authorities of the respective countries, not dictated by Chessbase readers. So, if travel from USA (reminder again, this kid is from the USA) is permitted, blame the authorities, not the kid
brabo_hf brabo_hf 5/10/2021 03:40
Travelling should not be allowed for playing chess between countries still struggling with corona no matter which variant. You can pick up anywhere it and transport it without even knowing about it (or a test can detect). I am sure that the virus is after more than 1 year still here exactly because a lot of people didn't want to give up travelling for their own goals. It is one thing to sacrifice your own money, time, health... It is another thing to endanger the lives of many others.
dakma dakma 5/10/2021 08:59
brabo_hf obviously resents this super-talented kid but also betrays his ugly prejudices by talking about "death of India corona-variant in Belgium" ? As another poster pointed out, this kid may be of Indian origin but he is an American citizen living in the USA. Of course, I know people of his ilk would still insist that he harbors the "Indian variant". I am sure brabo_hf will also choose to ignore the many people in India dying of "European (UK) variants"
adbennet adbennet 5/10/2021 06:18
@reddawg07 - Since the list has 30 names, it's mathematically impossible for most of them to be in the top 10. Think harder.
reddawg07 reddawg07 5/10/2021 05:54
Does that really matter? If one look at the list, most of them are not even in the current top 10 GM's list.
To earn top money as a chess professional you must be consistently at least in the top ten.
adbennet adbennet 5/10/2021 01:28
Not everybody shares the same ideals regarding youth participation and performance. The absolute most talented student I ever had, I approached the parents about perhaps entering some tournaments, and the answer was extremely short: "No tournaments!" Okay, then, conversation over. And for the whole time she was in my classes, starting as the youngest and growing up, she was an absolute joy to be around, always extremely modest while she was winning all her games. So I should say I always thought her parents made a good decision for her, and if I had been her parent rather than her coach I hope I would have chosen as wisely.

The youngster in the article is playing his heart out. Good for him. His parents have made their decision, I'm sure they have also thought long and hard about this. No doubt they have both heard before and even thought themselves the arguments against the chosen path.

People posting here are parents as well. If they have a different priority for chess, that is *okay*. I don't think it's right to label them harshly, when they have probably thought deeply about this issue. So let us be adults and acknowledge it's a complex issue. People should be able to discuss pros and cons freely.

A final point, if a young chessplayer can be easily discouraged by internet comments, perhaps the parents should just make sure these comments are not viewed at the wrong time. And help him put any comments in perspective. He is only 12, just because he has a GM norm and is approaching 2500 doesn't mean he should have an adult's access to the internet.
chriscaulk chriscaulk 5/10/2021 01:14
it takes a tremendous amount of foolhardiness to respond to genuine concerns about a child's upbringing with a comparison to Fischer. That silliness is unbecoming of any adult, let alone an editor. Before said editor of this website accuses me of envy, or worse, censors comments he doesn't like, I am perfectly comfortable with my own chess successes and have always enjoyed seeing others succeed; so long as their family doesn't become financially insolvent in the process.
Michael Jones Michael Jones 5/10/2021 01:13
I have nothing against Abhimanyu, and without knowing him I cannot tell to what extent, if any, his parents have pushed him. Unlike Frederic, I have not met at a young age players who went on to become super-GMs, but I have known quite a few who reached at least a very strong club standard - certainly higher than I ever will - at a similar age. Most of them seemed well-adjusted individuals, who enjoyed playing the game, wanted to do as well as they could but were not completely obsessed by it; they had other interests. There was one exception: an 11-year-old whose mother I saw apparently berating him for losing a game, and feared he was a victim of "pushy parent syndrome".

I don't blame Abhimanyu's parents for wanting to help their child pursue his ambitions, although spending their entire life's savings on doing so seems like over-indulgence; that said, it's their money, so if that's how they want to spend it that's up to them. It does seem a bit of a nerve, though, to expect strangers to pick up the rest of the bill once their own money runs out; as far as I'm aware, none of the parents of the chess players previously mentioned (nor those of Gauss or Newton) did that.

The particular focus of the article seems like unnecessary obsession with a specific record, though. Becoming the youngest GM does not define one's chess career: of the top 30 listed, only Carlsen has so far gone on to become world champion, although it's possible one or two of the others may still do so. It would be unfortunate if the cancellation of OTB tournaments due to the pandemic spoiled Abhimanyu's chances of breaking the record, but that's life: sometimes one is prevented from doing something by factors beyond one's control. Given that 3.3 million people have died, it would hardly be the most serious consequence. Maybe he will break the record, maybe he won’t, but does it really matter either way? Whether he does or not I’m sure he’ll go on to have a very successful career.
gato90 gato90 5/9/2021 10:35
I regret having commented seeing how heated the discussion turned out to be. I don't believe many comments were directed at me, but I still feel I should clarify what I said before in case it was misinterpreted.
I have nothing against Abhimanyu (and I certainly do not "hate" any other prodigies) and I'll be happy for him if he breaks the current record. I just feel these articles should be posted after they become GMs, not before. That's when it should be "news", even regardless of breaking the record or not. Obviously anyone who can become a GM by such a young age is a potential world-class player and it's reasonable that chess readers will want to know of them, and I'm sure we'll hear more of him as time goes by (simply looking at the list of youngest GMs shows that most of them became well-known, not just Karjakin).
Frederic Frederic 5/9/2021 10:34
It is not about agreeing or disagreeing with ChessBase. Read the first posts below and tell me they are just balanced, neutral opinions. It is probably a difference in attitude. When I get to know a young boy who has just turned twelve playing in a GM tournament and performing at a 2783 level, hey, it's just me, but my first reaction is to feel elated, and my first instinct is how can I encourage him, how can I help him. He is a boy that is deeply motivated and enjoying every moment of his games. But clearly my reaction is not shared by everyone. I just hope Abhi doesn't read some of the reactions to his great performance here, and get discouraged by it.
Serse Serse 5/9/2021 09:48
It is worrying, and a bit saddening, that for some time now, if you don't agree with ChessBase, you must be bitter, jealous, pissy or whatever. This is a curious approach to exchange and debate.
KevinConnor KevinConnor 5/9/2021 09:04
@Frederic
You obviously aren't even reading what is written below but have no problem using terms as bitterness and envy. Because when someone doesn't agree with you he must be bitter and envious. That ofcourse doesn't mean much from the man who is making money from these articles.
Jack Nayer Jack Nayer 5/9/2021 08:53
The difference between Newton and Gauss on the one hand and chess players on the other is that chess is played on a board with 64 squares and wooden puppets. It tells you nothing about the world. If you want to spend 200.000 dollar to break a record that very few are interested in, be my guest.
sshivaji sshivaji 5/9/2021 08:36
@Frederic Fully agree with what you are saying! Most of the strong youth have strong passion to reach the top far beyond their parental desires.

@InensityInsanity It's better to be FM than a GM is funny as for a large part of my life I wish I became a GM, and put more effort into that goal. I have only recently made peace with being just an FM .. :)

IM Mishra’s progress at age 12 is beyond what I accomplished for my whole chess life. It's definitely a thing to be proud of. Whether he becomes GM at 12 or 13 is not that important. He can definitely rise to a strong GM later in life if he chooses that direction. All athletes have to exert energy at a young age to reach top levels.

The amount of money spent by his family is not excessive either. I know a few on the youngest GMs list and some of them have spent a million dollars to reach the youngest GM title.

My stance on all this is that it's a personal choice. If you want to reach for the top, you have to put in a lot of energy and sacrifice/minimize other areas of life.
Frederic Frederic 5/9/2021 08:30
What does "sacrifice your childhood" mean? I have looked after, and often hosted in my house, Nigel Short, Vishy Anand, Garry Kasparov, all three Polgar, Elli Pähtz, Kateryna Lagno, Hou Yifan, Peter Leko, Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Anish Giri, Magnus Carlsen, Wesley So, Nihal, Gukesh, Pragg, (whom am I forgetting?), most at a very young age. I attended the two training sessions for super-talents conducted by Kramnik and Gelfand with 12 to 15-year-old GMs or GM candidates. Never did I get the impression they were being driven by over-ambitious parents. On the contrary, the parents were often sacrificing jobs and careers to help the kids realize their extraordinary talent. Never did I have the impression that the kids were "sacrificing their youth," but on the contrary they were deeply, deeply motivated, and yearning intensely for support and encouragement. A 2500 12-year-old knows exactly how good he is and desperately wants to become even better. He is lucky if one parent decides to abandon a mundane career in order to nurture the child's very special talent. It is deeply disheartening if there are people on the sidelines booing them, telling the child that he is ruining his life, by practising what he is really good at. Ask Garry, Anand, Judit, Vlady, Anish, Magnus, Wesley and the others whether they regret having honed their talent and "lost their childhood" in the process. Ask them if they resent the way their families supported them in the way they did.
IntensityInsanity IntensityInsanity 5/9/2021 07:11
What about kids being pushed hard in regard to school and studies? Millions (if not billions) of parents world wide push their kids to excel in school/piano/violin, etc. yet, you single out this one child for such nasty remarks. I agree with Frederic here, bitter and jealous comments, some of which don’t even make sense (it’s better to be an FM than a GM??) by this logic one can say that it’s bad for anyone to become a professional, or get a doctorate:) just get a bachelor’s degree and you’ll be happier. I hope this young man Mr. Mishra learns an early lesson: adults mostly are nasty vindictive and jealous creatures, and in your life you will need to learn to filter them out.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 5/9/2021 07:06
"We are heavily investing in Abhimanyu's chess. We have spent in the range of US $200,000 and almost run out of savings. My wife and I are IT professionals and work with a Data Management company."

The word 'irresponsible' comes to mind as does the phrase..."You have got to be kidding me!" Mine is certainly NOT a 'hateful or bitter' remark...it is the confused voice of reason crying out to an indifferent universe.
PhishMaster PhishMaster 5/9/2021 07:02
I am in the group rooting for him. Pushing him? To be that good, my guess is that he loves it more than anything. The parents just see his potential, and are helping his love of the game.
sshivaji sshivaji 5/9/2021 06:24
Congrats and best of luck to Abhimanyu Mishra!

With regard to some of the other comments. All of the people on the above list sacrificed their childhood for chess. In fact, almost all GMs have sacrificed their childhood for chess. I can't think of any that has not. If you don't sacrifice your childhood for chess, you will become an FM like me, not a GM!

People complaining about his parents pushing him too hard, do realize that all athletes are pushed this hard if not harder. Next time you think of cheering team USA, Europe, Australia, or Russia, Asia at the Olympics, World Cup or whatever event, do realize that all these nations are pushing their youth to sacrifice their childhood in favor of getting a gold medal.

You cannot be one of the world’s best players, or youngest GMs, without any sacrifice. Am I personally for this, probably not. However, having seen that most athletes sacrifice their childhood, I don’t think it’s that uncommon.
amarpan amarpan 5/9/2021 06:15
"Especially when an Indian boy is on track to do so". Let us make it clear that he is an American even if he is of Indian heritage. Likewise Awonder Liang is referred to as an " American" chess prodigy, as is Samuel Sevian, they are all Americans, born and raised in America.
brabo_hf brabo_hf 5/9/2021 06:03
For every succesful child which was pushed, there are dozens/ hundreds maybe even thousands which became very unhappy and unfortunate. Those sad stories don't make the newspapers. Also I can't count anymore how often I hear about grandmasters having quit chess and regretting their wasted youth. I prefer to be a FM (like you), never been pushed but loving the game for already more than 30 years and most likely till the end of my life.
Frederic Frederic 5/9/2021 05:57
Wow, I didn't know such incredible bitterness and envy was possible. You guys must really hate Rechevsky, Fischer, Polgar, Carlsen (and Gauss, Newton, etc.). Do you hate figure skaters and gymnasts. I am going to take this all down in a bit. I can't imagine what an ambitious and enthusiastic young super-talent must feel when people bombard him with these kind of hateful remarks. "I guess there is money to be made by repeatedly writing about these nonsense" breaks all records.
gato90 gato90 5/9/2021 05:48
Agree with the comments below, these articles make no sense and only put more pressure on the poor kid before he even achieves his goal. Let him just play and have fun for now, he has plenty of time to become "famous" if he puts in the work. Nobody will consider him a failure if he becomes GM at 13 instead of 12.
KevinConnor KevinConnor 5/9/2021 01:42
There we go again Sgar Shah with his preoccupation with breaking the record of becoming the youngest grandmaster. Especially when an Indian boy is on track to do so. I guess there is money to be made by repeatedly writing about these nonsense.
brabo_hf brabo_hf 5/9/2021 01:05
I have a son, multiple national youth-champion having exactly the same age as Mishra but I would never allow my son to be pushed like that. Another prodigy like Wang Hao I expect. By the time he is an adult, he will have wasted his childhood and hate chess.

We just had in Belgium the first death of the Indian-corona-variant despite being fully vaccinated (twice). It is incredible how people are putting in danger the lives of many others for playing some chess on the board.

Spending 200.000 dollars on a game where barely any money can be earned, doesn't look like a wise investment. I find it very daring to ask people for support.