At just 8 years old, Abhimanyu Mishra joined Garry Kasparov’s Young Stars program. Three years earlier, at age 5, he had completed a 300 piece jigsaw puzzle about marine life in just under 3 hours. Besides world champion Magnus Carlsen, Abhimanyu idolizes the great Indian Vishwanathan Anand. He remembers in detail how the legend beat Levon Aronian once, playing black. The 12-year-old American, born to Indian parents from Agra and Bhopal, is perhaps one of the rarest pre-teens to start a Harry Potter, but is turning away from the book for something a little more important: to create the history of chess. .
Abhimanyu on Wednesday evening became the youngest Grandmaster (GM) in chess at 12 years, four months and 25 days, breaking Russian general manager Sergey Karjakin’s previous record of 12 years and seven months. He had left the Potter at his home in New Jersey and will resume, having returned victorious from Hungary as the youngest to hold the third GM standard. “I started reading a Harry Potter book and couldn’t bring it here. It will be my next big mission after the World Cup, ”laughs Abhimanyu.
Mother Swati Sharma, who stayed with her younger daughter Ridhima in the United States, remembers the first puzzles he solved.
“Whether it was IM or GM standard, Abhimanyu would play video games after the game to calm down. When he was two years old, we brought him a 40 piece jigsaw puzzle. While he would also start chess six months later, he would solve a 300-piece puzzle in three to five hours. At that time, we never thought he would become the youngest general manager in the world, ”she told The Indian Express.
Swati and her husband Hemant both worked in a data management company, and young Abhimanyu would be introduced to chess by his father, who played the game at college and in business. The child would officially begin training under the guidance of a Russian trainer in New Jersey before joining Kings and Queens Academy.
“We never saw Abhimanyu as a super chess prodigy. It was always a goal to develop his interest gradually. Abhimanyu only remembered the pieces as elephant, horse, camel and not rook, knight and bishop. , Abhimanyu participated in a tournament and didn’t know how to write the chess moves and Hemant argued with the organizers to allow him to play just because he liked to play, ”Sharma shares.
After winning a series of local tournaments, Abhimanyu became the world’s youngest international master in 2019, breaking Indian R Praggnanandhhaa’s previous record.
“Once Abhimanyu’s game passed midnight, a tired Abhimanyu gave the much older opponent a draw. Another time at a winter tournament, he left one of his matches because he was worried about dark and the trip home. But then kids are kids and when he came home and saw his chess books, including Silman’s full endgame course and study books, he would forget the loss or the game, ”he said. she remembers. But there was no exhaustion that a full endgame course of Silman couldn’t erase, for he would ignore the loss and start over.
This time, a very tall opponent approached him and asked him to call his father to play for him. “It was a bit intimidating for Abhimanyu. He won the game, but we also worked a lot to make sure he looks his opponents in the eye, no matter what an opponent’s experience or age,” remembers Hemant.
After dipping into his college funds and spending $ 260,000 on chess, the family would start crowdfunding to push him to publish his first FIDE grades at 1681 in 2016. difference, ”says Mishra. The Kasparov program would follow in 2018, where he was chosen as one of 15 players.
“I admire Kasporov’s energy. His understanding of the game of opponents is incredible. He told me I had to work hard for every win and that’s the mantra. The way Carlsen dominates the world is just amazing. I also wish to meet Anand sir and I remember one of his matches against Levon Aronian where he played with black and defeated him. I watch this game a lot, ”shares Abhimanyu who currently has an ELO performance rating of 2619 and ranked 742 in the world. “My goal will be to surpass the 2700 odds and one day become world champion,” he said.
The father-son duo spent over 80 days in an apartment in Budapest participating in local tournaments and with Hemant cooking Indian dishes or Abhimanyu’s favorite cheese pasta.
The youngest GM in the world will now travel to Sochi to compete in the FIDE World Cup next week before returning home to New Jersey and plans to spend a few days after returning to the United States on an important assignment in apart from Grunfled defense practice on his chess set offered by world number 2 Fabiano Caruano at the age of six.