Abhimanyu Mishra, an Indian-origin American, has become the world’s youngest-ever chess Grandmaster after months of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, combined with a budget shortage travelling throughout the world in these terrible times.
He broke Sergey Karjakin’s record of 12 years, four months, and 25 days, which he had held since he was 12 years and seven months old when he won the title. Three years ago, India’s R Praggnanandhaa was on the verge of passing him, but he missed by a whisker. Until Abhimanyu’s moment, several assaults on the 19-year-old record failed. After becoming the world’s youngest International Master last year, Abhimanyu pursued his quest and accomplished it at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix in Budapest, a tournament organised solely to offer him one last chance at the title, while other chess players stayed back due to travel restrictions.
Since April, Abhimanyu has been in Budapest, Hungary, in search of the record. In April and May, he had earned the first and second GM norms, but the third remained distant as time passed and fewer events loomed on the horizon. For this competition, he had to wait until mid-July for another chance at the record.
Abhimanyu began playing chess when he was two and a half years old, thanks to his father Hemant, who works in data management. By the age of five, he had beaten his father and was competing in local tournaments, where he began to defeat players twice his age.