History's Youngest Chess Grandmaster
(above, Abhi Mishra plays chess at an LSC event in 2015)
On June 30, 2021, Abhimanyu Mishra from Englishtown, New Jersey, made chess history by becoming the youngest Grandmaster ever, at the age of 12 years, 4 months, and 25 days. He might have achieved this even sooner if international chess tournaments hadn’t come to a halt during the pandemic. Abhi learned the rules of chess at the age of two and a half and started playing in tournaments at 5. When he was 7, he was one of 20 contestants who faced off in 2015 at an LSC event against the No. 2 player in the world, Liberty Science Center Visiting Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana. Although Abhi lost to 23-year-old Fabi, as did all the other players, “the event,” his father says, “changed his life.” It inspired Abhi to set his sights on going as far as he could in chess.
Abhi attributes his success to hard work, to studying the game for 12 or more hours a day. He has set many records. At the age of 9, he was the top-ranked player of his age in the world. At 10 years, 9 months, and 3 days, he became the youngest International Master, the level just below Grandmaster. Now that he’s secured the Grandmaster title, his goal is to become World Champion.