Abhimanyu Mishra is an amazing American chess prodigy
On June 30, 2021, Mishra (an Indian-origin chess player from New Jersey) became the youngest person ever to qualify as a grandmaster at the age of 12 years 4 months and 25 days. By doing so he beated Sergey Karjakin's record - which he held since 2002.
Mishra has gained the United States Chess Federation record for the youngest Expert by earning a 2000 USCF rating at the age of 7 years, 6 months, and 22 days, breaking the record of Awonder Liang. Mishra then broke the US Chess record for the youngest National Master by earning a 2200 USCF rating at the age of 9 years, 2 months, and 17 days, breaking the record of Liran Zhou. He holds the world record for the youngest International Master, a title which he earned in November 2019 at the age of 10 years, 9 months, and 20 days, breaking the record of Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa. FIDE awarded Mishra the title in February 2020.
In March 2021, Mishra tied for the first place with GM Vladimir Belous in the Charlotte Chess Center.
To become a grandmaster, a player must score three GM norms while each norm is scored by achieving a performance rating of over 2600 in a tournament and exceed a rating of 2500. In April 2021, Mishra tied for first place at the Vezérképző GM tournament in Budapest, Hungary, with a score of 7.0/9 and performance rating of 2603, earning his first GM norm. In May 2021, Mishra earned clear first place at the First Saturday GM tournament in Budapest, Hungary, with a score of 8.0/9 and performance rating of 2739, having clinched his second GM norm with one round to spare and exceeding the norm by a full point. In June 2021, Mishra earned clear first place at the Vezérképző GM Mix tournament in Budapest, Hungary, with a score of 7.0/9 and a performance rating of 2619; giving him his third GM norm. As his rating had also crossed 2500, this third norm made Mishra the youngest Grandmaster in chess history, breaking the record of Sergey Karjakin by over 2 months.
Mishra received congratulations from many players, including former record holder Karjakin and World Champion Magnus Carlsen. A New York Times article cited concerns from Nigel Short and Bruce Pandolfini about the methods used to achieve the feat, alleging that the GM qualification structure encourages "norm" tournaments that narrowly qualify as prestigious enough to count as a GM norm, but no tougher, to make a strong performance from the candidate easier to achieve; and that Karjakin had benefited from similar tournaments. The article also notes Mishra's opponents' average rating was noticeably lower in Hungary than in Charlotte, North Carolina. World Championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi suggested that some changes could be made to the qualification process. American grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has both openly praised Mishra for his accomplishment and discussed the controversy raised by Nepomniachtchi.
Mishra played in the 2021 Chess World Cup, losing to Baadur Jobava in the first round.
Mishra won the St. Louis 2022 Spring Chess Classic B with a score of 7/9 and a tournament performance rating of 2739.