Yet another 12-year-old grandmaster

by Frederic Friedel
4/9/2024 – He was born on 3 June 2011 in Bursa, Turkey. On April 1st (no April Fool's joke) the twelve-year-old, playing in the very strong GRENKE Chess Open, Yagiz Kaan Erdpgmus scored 7.0/9 points with a 2646 performance. With that he had fulfilled his final GM norm and become the youngest grandmaster in the world – the fourth youngest in chess history. We will be watching this young boy carefully. | Photo Ugur Medya

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Yağz Kaan Erdoğmuş – that is how you write his name in Turkish – was introduced to chess by his kindergarten teacher when he was six years old. He showed great talent for the game, and was soon winning national and international tournaments.  In 2019 he won the U8 European Championship, scoring 8.0/8 games, and in August 2021 Yagiz was ranked No. 1 in the World U10 Rankings. At the same time he was recognized as the No. 1 U11 player in the world.

Before turning twelve Yagiz became Turkey’s youngest IM. In April 2024 he became the fourth-youngest grandmaster in the world at the Grenke Chess Open and Classic.

Youngest grandmasters in history

Abhimanyu Mishra 12 years, 4 months, 25 days
Sergey Karjakin 12 years, 7 months, 0 days
Gukesh Domaraju 12 years, 7 months, 17 days
Yağz Kaan Erdoğmuş 12 years, 9 months, 29 days

You can view the development of this lad on our ChessBase Players utility. Or if you have a ChessBase Account you simply click on "Players".

There you get pictures, Elo progress data, white and black successes, favourite and least favourite opponents, strongest wins, the white and black openings repertoire and samples of recent games. Instant information – click on the screen shot for Yagiz's portrait:

And here are the nine games that earned Yagiz his final GM norm at the GRENKE Open A:

Incidentally, the German Chess Federation wanted Yagiz to represent Germany and offered him scholarship incentives. However, the lad decided to compete for Turkey.

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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arzi arzi 4/11/2024 06:55
WillScarlett: It is better to continue a carefree life than if nothing happened, even when youth seems to be behind us. Maybe we'll forget the grayness of yesterday and remember the glory to come. Chess brings with it all the same features as life itself. Eat or be eaten and it is better to die well than live badly.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 4/10/2024 10:18
Just get older. At 67, I'm very happy not to go down in rating too fast.
WillScarlett WillScarlett 4/10/2024 04:15
Arzi: I was just having a bit of fun spoofing myself, and playing the curmudgeon. I do think, though, that chess players and golfers are especially susceptible to the pangs of disappointment and frustration over the elusiveness of perfection, or at least improvement. Noting the fantastic successes and growing power of prodigies accentuates those pains and stirs envy. Paraphrasing Nimzowitsch, one can imagine being drubbed by beardless youths who began playing only yesterday by crying out, " Why must I lose to this infant ?! " .

Tarrasch maintained that, " Chess is above all the struggle against error." For many, chess is also the struggle to improve, to attain dominance, and ultimately to approach perfection. It is bewildering to see the likes of Capablanca, Reshevsky, Fischer, and others accomplish this as children, while you and I flounder for four, five, or six decades.

Yet we still play, and now and again revel in winning a well-played game - perhaps, finally, being the first of a dazzling series or victories. Better late than never.
arzi arzi 4/10/2024 07:01
With age comes tantrums, tickling nerves, and memory lapses, no matter how long he's been playing at 2200 level. Not really exasperating, but imperceptible to the person himself. He just doesn't get it himself. And you WillScarlett, are you bitter about your lost youth? Don't worry, it's just life. Soon you will forget this problem too.
Michael Jones Michael Jones 4/10/2024 02:44
Leavenfish: most of Erdoğmuş's recent tournaments have been opens; the one exception was the Jeddah Young Masters, in which the rest of the field were of a similar age and rating to him and would have been hunting their own norms rather than helping him to gain his. There is no tournament he's played in the last few months which looks like it was set up with the primary purpose of allowing him to obtain a norm and/or gain rating points; I haven't looked further back than that, but I presume the most recent ones have been key to him achieving the title.

Curious that he played Mishra along the way.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 4/9/2024 08:16
I would hope so! The Mishra case is almost comical...heck, it IS comical!
Mamack1 Mamack1 4/9/2024 05:55

Actually that seems to be much less true in this case.
Leavenfish Leavenfish 4/9/2024 04:15
Did this kids parents get up to about a half million dollars put towards this achievement like Mishra's??
WillScarlett WillScarlett 4/9/2024 03:37
Yeah, well, I still don't want twitchy, skittish, squirrely sub-teens in MY chess club ! Especially because I play at 2200 at best for decades now. Exasperating .
Denix Denix 4/9/2024 03:03
Wow! It seems the pandemic delayed his ELO progress and might have caused the youngest title stay with GM Abhimanyu Mishra. Thank you.