Indian-origin chess player from New Jersey, USA, Abhimanyu Mishra became the youngest grandmaster in chess history on Wednesday. At 12 years-4 months and 25 days, Mishra scored his third GM norm in Budapest, having already crossed the required 2500 Elo rating barrier.
With his feat, Mishra broke the record held for 19 years by Russian GM Sergey Karjakin, who had achieved it on August 12, 2002, at the age of 12 years and 7 months. Abhimanyu achieved his third and final GM norm after beating Indian GM Leon Luke Mendonca in the penultimate round of the Vezerkepzo GM Mix event in Budapest, Hungary.
Mishra chased the GM title by playing several tournaments in Hungary since April. He and his father took up a rented house from where their challenges began. Abhimanyu earned his two GM norms at the Vezerkepzo tournament in April, followed by the First Saturday tournament in May. The June Vezerkepzo tournament was the last chance for Mishra before leaving Hungary.
Abhimanyu Mishra parents Hemant and Swati had been originally from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, had migrated to the US in 2006. They have been actively working as a team to fulfill their son’s dream.
Abhimanyu, who is part of the Kasparov Chess Foundation’s Young Stars programme, had won the under-eight 2016 ChessKid Online National Invitational Championship (CONIC). He is the USA’s youngest national chess master, which he achieved at the age of 9 years, 2 months and 17 days. In late 2019, he broke India’s R Praggnanandhaa’s record to become the world’s youngest International Master at 10 years, 9 months and 3 days
He was identified as a child prodigy when he broke the youngest National Expert just six months into his chess career. Throughout his career, Abhimanyu didn’t have any corporate Sponsors. But it was his father’s unflinching dedication that has helped Abhimanyu achieved the feat. Hemant had started a fundraising initiative to fulfill the dream that was weaved by the entire family.
The GoFundMe page ‘Support Abhi to become youngest GM in the world’ contributed $16,183 till now for the success. Abhimanyu didn’t get any tournaments for more than a year because of the Covid-19 situation, which delayed his achievements yet his immense perseverance paid off.