In the summer of 2021, at the height of the Covid pandemic, Abhimanyu Mishra became the youngest chess Grandmaster in the world. The American prodigy stopped the clocks at 12 years, 4 months and 25 days. His passionate quest for the GM title and the tough challenges he and his father Hermant had to overcome, ‘Abhi’ described in an evocative manner in his book The Youngest Chess Grandmaster in the World (New In Chess, 2022).
The grandmaster title was to be a stepping stone to even higher goals and bigger dreams. Over the past two years Mishra duly continued to improve. In the January 2024 FIDE rankings his rating had risen to 2627. His New Year’s wish to his fans and followers on X read: ‘2023 was a good year. I managed to become the highest rated American junior and get into top 10 juniors in the world list at the age of 14.’
Mishra’s best memory of the Grand Swiss was his victory, full of tactics, against legend Vasyl Ivanchuk
The last classical event Mishra played in 2023 was the FIDE Grand Swiss in Isle of Man, easily the hardest tournament of the year with more than 100 GMs competing for two spots in the 2024 Candidates Tournament. Those two spots were claimed by Vidit Gujrathi and Hikaru Nakamura (see New In Chess 2023/8 for an extensive report), but Mishra could be satisfied with his result. He scored 50 percent against strong opposition (11 GMs with 2600+ ratings) and collected 10 rating points. His own reaction was one of mild satisfaction. He said he was reasonably pleased with his result but resented the two losses he suffered, as he felt he should have saved both of them.
His best memory of the Grand Swiss was his win in Round 10 against Ukrainian legend Vasyl Ivanchuk. Mishra annotated that game, full of tactics, for our Magazine report on the Grand Swiss, but unfortunately we had to leave it out as we received an abundance of material from Isle of Man and ran out of space.
That was a great pity and therefore we are happy to show this fine game between the 14-year-old prodigy and the 54-year-old legend here. Grateful for Abhimanyu’s instructive and entertaining notes and wishing him well for the year ahead.
Abhimanyu Mishra during the opening moves of his game against Vasyl Ivanchuk at the Grand Swiss in Isle of Man. (photo: Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam)
Visibly delighted, Abhimanyu Mishra showed his victory against Vasyl Ivanchuk in the press room. ‘It feels amazing to win against a legend.’