Many times we sometimes think about what role we want to play in the greater chess community. Are we teachers? Organizers? Arbiters? Politicians? Journalists? Authors? Commentators? Are we those who only want to compete? For Justus Williams, who is a USCF Senior Master, he happens to be in another category… activist. Chess players have various roles in chess and Williams is building a chess movement to reach those who may not have been exposed otherwise. He also has an initiative for promoting chess in prisons, a noble initiative.
Justus Williams with prison inmates. Photo courtesy of Black Squares
A native of the Bronx, New York, he has an interesting story of how he evolved into a chess player who commuted 90 minutes each morning to I.S. 318 and became part of a story featured in “Brooklyn Castle.” After being offered chess scholarships, he found himself at the highly-touted Webster University before transferring 30 minutes across town to Lindenwood University. It was while a student at Lindenwood he hatched a plan to start an initiative called “Black Squares.” The motto is “Bringing Chess Into Black Culture and Black Culture Into Chess.”
GM Maurice Ashley visiting Black Squares with Justus Williams. Photo courtesy of Black Squares.
This is an important inclusion. Many times when the public hears the descriptive use of “Black,” they wonder why it is necessary. However, if we have not learned anything from the protests in 2020 (and the previous 100 years), we should have learned that there are still elements of injustice that flow through the veins of society. That being said, organizations like Williams’ Black Squares serves as a bridge to expose the underserved or ignored segments to the values of discipline, critical thought, and patience. CBS affiliate in St. Louis interviewed Williams and highlighted the work he is doing in the community.
The story of the round was Samuel Shankland’s dismantling of the former championship candidate Sergey Karjakin. The Russian recently had his record broken for youngest Grandmaster in history and now is on the precipice of being eliminated from the FIDE World Cup. The loss he received at the hands of the American makes one wonder if his time has passed. The “Minister of Defense” had no such success in today’s battle against Shankland.
Sam Shankland won the first game of his match against Sergey Karjakin. Sergey’s 38…f5 gave Sam a protected passed pawn and a stable positional advantage, which Sam converted energetically to a winning pawn ending.#FIDEWorldCuppic.twitter.com/stdOGJfdTM
This tournament is turning out to be a career performance for the 29-year old American. For those who may not be aware of his story, in analyzing the U.S. gold medal team, I wrote this about Shankland:
Back in 2010, he threatened to quit chess due to the poor opportunities for GM norms in the U.S. After some soul-searching he came back and in 2011, he created a stir by defeating Peter Leko in the first round of the 2011 World Cup. He won the Samford Fellowship in 2013 and continued measured improvement. At the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, he scored 9/10 and earned a gold medal on board four.
He also recently said that he is a “2700 with no talent.” If he has no talent, then it is quite an inspiration to hordes of untalented players out there. Seriously… when has an untalented player made such a deep run into the World Cup. In fact, if sheer hard work has been his recipe for success, then his effort was not wasted. He gives his thoughts!
Video by FIDE Chess
While Shankland had an instructive game, Magnus Carlsen dished out his own lesson. In a Ruy Lopez the game had tension until Etienne Bacrot belted out the risky 24.f4. His king would not find safety thereafter. As mentioned, the uncorked a queen sacrifice to beat Bacrot in their first game.
Magnus Carlsen seized the initiative after the opening with a standard pawn sacrifice, increased the pressure and capped it with a nice positional queen sacrifice, leaving Bacrot unable to cope with the active black pieces and passed pawns. #FIDEWorldCuppic.twitter.com/FekdJnzpJF
As players get to the latter rounds, there is more caution and as a result, an increase in draws. There was only one decisive game in each section with Armenia’s Haik Martirosyan winning over Amin Tabatabaei and Alexandra Kosteniuk’s win over top-seed Aleksandra Gorayachkina.
Kosteniuk, Martirosyan Only Winners On Peaceful Day At FIDE World Cup
Bloodbath in Round of 16… 50% decisive games Goryachkina finally loses!
GM Magnus Carlsen was unable to break through Photo by Anastasia Korolkova
Wow! What action we had in round 4 of the FIDE World Cup in Sochi Russia. Several of the top players have been ousted, but today’s action was bloody indeed. Exactly 8/16 games were decisive with Magnus Carlsen being held by Radoslaw Wojtaszek in an interesting game. The Polish player sacrificed his queen to stave off an attack.
Video FIDE Chess
Daniil Dubov was fortunate enough to get a draw in his game win Andrey Esipenko after being down 4.94 in evaluation. Dubov liquidated and Esipenko was unable to make use of his rook against the knight. Etienne Bacrot put on a powerful performance bringing on some of his magic from the past.
In other decisive games, Vidit Santosh dispatched American phenom Jeffery Xiong who blundered with a dubious piece sacrifice. Amin Tabatabaei toppled Indian Olympian Pentala Harikrishna continuing his fantastic run in this World Cup. Tabatabaei upset Yu Yangyi and is poised to take down another 2700.
Commentator Nigel Short had difficulties pronouncing the Iranian name, but after the World Cup, everyone will know. Tabatabaei described his victory in the post-game interview.
Video FIDE Chess
Haik Martirosyan is coming off of a big win against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and continued the onslaught beating Ante Brkic. Sam Shankland kept the Americans in the hunt with a win over Rinat Jumabayev, who overpressed in a drawn position. The Kazakh player upset Fabiano Caruana and Shankland would like to defend the stars and stripes and advance to the next round.
It’s been a long time since Shankland’s first World Cup in 2011 when one commentator obviously didn’t know who he was. She asked innocently and incredulously, “How did you see all of this?” At that time he was an obscure 2600 GM, but now has become 2700 fixture on the medal-winning Olympiad team.
Video FIDE Chess
Video by FIDE Chess
2021 World Chess Cup July 12th-August 6th, 2021 (Sochi, Russia) MATCH PAIRINGS (ROUND 4)
Antoaneta_Stefanova stopped the Russian top-seed Photo by Anastasia Korolkova
In the women’s competition, Aleksandra Goryachkina was beaten by former women’s champion Antoaneta Stefanova. After having built up a strong advantage the Russian inexplicably lost a piece to a simple pin. There was no idea on what Goryachkina could have been thinking, but the always classy Stefanova gave her comments.
Video by FIDE Chess
There was only one other decisive game with Natalia Shuvalova beating Nana Dzagnidze in a Sicilian Rossolimo. Black was getting squeezed before trying a piece sacrifice to get counterplay. The plan backfired and she tried another sacrifice to arrive at three pawns versus a rook, but after a few moves, gave up.
Iran’s hopeful… Sarasadat Khademalsharieh Photo by Anastasia Korolkova
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov goes down… Carissa Yip scores big win!
GM Bassem Amin (Egypt) Photo by IM Eric Rosen
There were some FIDE World Cup viewers who were clamoring for Bassem Amin’s game. While it may go unnoticed to most, Amin is an iconic figure in African and Egyptian chess. The only player from the continent having surpassed the 2700 mark, he is in the top 100 in the world. However, his games are hardly shown in the broadcasts. Perhaps as he advances more attention will be given to his games. His battle with Etienne Bacrot started off without fireworks, but fizzled into an equal ending. Tomorrow he will try to press with the white pieces.
Africa is watching. Namibian International Master Dante Beukes is reporting for Africa Chess Media. He stated this about Amin… “Bassem Amin is arguably the greatest African chess player of all time. He continues to raise the bar higher and higher for Africans. The 5-time African champion became the first player to reach the second round of the World Cup in 2015 and now he has done one better and reached the third round!” Photo by Anastasia Korolkova
One would think that as we advanced in the tournament, there would be more drawn games, but 19 of the 32 matches started with decisive games. Fifteen-year old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa beat Michal Krasenkow and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was upset by 21-year old Armenian Haik Martirosyan as we continue the theme of the “youth movement.”
GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan) Photo by IM Eric Rosen
Speaking of the youth movement, it has been noted that Uzbekistan will be a definite force in the future with a young core Javokhir Sindarov (15), Nodirbek Abdusattorov (16), Shamsiddin Vokhidov (19), and Jahongir Vakhidov (26). Only Vokhidov has been eliminated. Uzbekistan certainly received motivation from the legacy of FIDE champion, Rustam Kasindzhanov and trainer, Rashid Ziatdinov. The future is bright.
Vakhidov totally crushed his Russian opponent Pavel Ponkratov when resignation could’ve happened 20 moves earlier.
There was an instructive name featuring yet another young Indian star, Nihal Sarin. He was playing the dangerous Dmitri Andreikin and got a lesson in how to play positional chess after starting with 1.b3 b6 2.e4 Bb7 3.Nc3. The rarely seen Owens Defense produced a very interesting result. In the final position, you will see the classic good/bad bishop battle.
The story of the round may be Carissa Yip’s performance. In her seven games thus far she has won six games! She continued her good form beating the rating favorite Nana Dzagnidze in a highly complicated game. Take a look.
Carissa Yip (USA) Photo by IM Eric Rosen
Alexandra Kosteniuk is playing a game against Pia Cramling. It is always interesting to see the clash against the generations. Sweden’s Cramling has been on the professional scene for decades and is still playing at a high level. In their game the Kosteniuk was able to saddle Cramling with a cramped position and this advantage the entire game. In the final position, Cramling had no moves. Regardless of the outcome of the match, Cramling continues to inspire.
GM Pia Cramling (Sweden) Photo by Anastasia Korolkova
COVID strikes Indonesia… Susanto Megaranto retires match with Caruana
Aronian withdraws due to tonsilitis, fever
The lead story of the FIDE Grand Prix is players having to submit to COVID protocols. Indonesia Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto was on move 15 against an unmasked Fabiano Caruana when the arbiters informed him he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
GM Susanto Megaranto (Indonesia)
The test arrived late and the arbiters decided they had to whisk Megaranto away to protect the health of the players. Fortunately, he was wearing the recommended (but not required) face-covering. Caruana retired to his hotel room as a precaution. On the official website, it read,
The FIDE World Cup organizers confirm that one of the players has tested positive for Covid-19. The result of this test was known while he was playing his second-round game.
In line with the tournament’s public health and safety protocol, the player and has been asked to immediately leave the playing area, and his game declared a loss. The player in question was wearing a face mask during the game, and he has been placed in quarantine.
His opponent, who was also requested to leave the playing hall immediately, will now undergo additional medical screenings, and will be tested again tomorrow as scheduled.
Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto is the third member of the Indonesian delegation to test positive to Covid since arriving in Sochi for the chess World Cup. The Head of Delegation Kristianus Liem was diagnosed first, then the two male players. Both female reps appear to be fine.
However, in order to not risk the safety of other players they have decided, in agreement with the organisation, to withdraw from the second game of the second round. As a result, their opponents, Harika Dronavalli and Valentina Gunina, will advance directly to the third round.
This is indeed a tragic development with four Asian players having to miss their chance at competing. Some suggested that Megaranto could have gotten a “false positive,” but the truth is that he missed an opportunity to compete against a high-caliber opponent. In a preceding case, Mikhail Antipov tested positive during the Russian Championship and had to retire.
In another World Cup development, Levon Aronian had to resort to health and safety protocols after developing a fever not related to COVID. He will also withdraw. It is not known if the affliction is COVID-related. There is also no data on how many players had been vaccinated or whether the afflicted players were vaccinated.
The incident ignited a firestorm of criticism from fans on social media. There was a question as to why Megaranto was not notified before the game. The exam arrived after the start of the round and thus interrupting the game became unavoidable.
Have restrictions been eased too quickly? The other question dogging the organizers was the mask policy. With more than 200 men and women in the complex, the wide majority are not wearing face coverings of any sort. Some argue that there should’ve been a mandatory mask policy. All of a sudden, Abhimanyu Mishra’s full mask & shield don’t appear as ridiculous as some were saying.
Abhimanyu Mishra came ready to fight… both his opponent and COVID. While he lost to Baadur Jobava, he was prepared to defeat COVID. Photo by Anastasia Korolkova
Onto the action…
Despite today’s news, chess fans were excited to see the “big guns” at the board again. In the past year, there had been so much online activity that there was a bit of fatigue. After receiving the “Fair Play Svetozar Gligoric Trophy” sportsman award, Magnus Carlsen started the tournament in fine fashion.
Video FIDE Chess
Of course, Caruana got the walk-over, but most of the higher seeds won. India had massive success in the first round with all 12 competitors advancing to the second stage. One national player Adhiban Baskaran is known for his affable nature, but in this game against Neuris Delgado he showed his fangs.
Video FIDE Chess
Egypt’s Bassem Amin won a technical game against Hovhannes Gabuzyan of Armenia. If he closes tomorrow’s game with a win or draw, he will be the first from the African continent to advance to the third round. There is an apparent error in the game score as 35…Rb7?? hangs the rook outright. Nevertheless, the game was won in a few moves.
The other remaining player in the Open Section was Abdelrahman Hesham who is paired with Romanian Constantin Lupulescu. Unfortunately, there wouldn’t be any of the magic from the previous match. In fact, Lupulescu got a winning advantage after 27.Rxb7! Qxb7 28.Bxd5. Black would be down a pawn and the pawn structure was in shambles. In the end, the black king would end up in a mating net.
A beautiful game here by the Argentinian!
IM Irine Sukandar Photo by IM Eric Rosen
In the women’s even, Aleksandra Goryachkina won a nice game against the American player Gulrukbegim Tokhirjonova. Several Russian players, including Valentina Guinina won their first games as the strong Russian contingent look to make a long run in Sochi.
Her opponent was Irine Sukandar of Indonesia. As mentioned earlier, Sukandar will not play her second game, so Guinina will advance. India’s Dronavali Harika will also have the same result with Medina Aulia of Indonesia.
With 78 games today in the open, there were massive expectations as players from 93 federations kicked off the World Cup in Sochi, Russia. The top 50 seeds received byes, but the rest would entertain the chess world longing to see a variety of classical games.
For the women, the top 25 received byes and will advance to the second round automatically. Aleksandra Goraychkina, a championship contender, is the top see who recently crossed the 2600 rating. She is only the 6th woman to ever achieve this.
Egypt’s Ayah Moaataz Photo by Egyptian Chess Federation
Today’s biggest upset was Egypt’s Ayah Moaataz who brutally mated former women’s World Champion, Anna Ushenina. The Ukrainian won the women’s world championship, but has had shown periods of sluggishness and disinterest. In today’s chess, preparation has become so much more important and even a player outrated by 300-400 Elo can find the motivation. In the game against Moaataz, Ushenina failed to capitalize on an opening mistake after 15.axb5?? Bd5! winning material.
Her text move 15…Nxc2 was still winning, but lost significant momentum after Moaataz complicated matters with 19.Rxb4!? Nevertheless, Ushenina was still better. Fast forward to Moaataz’s 34.Rd4? the evaluation ballooned to -6.29. Despite this evaluation and being a rook up, black’s weakness became an issue and Ushenina lost her sense of danger. After 38…Rbd7?? the Egyptian didn’t miss her chance and was mating after 39.Qg8+ Kg6 40.f5+ Kh5 40.Qh7! mating. Wonderful win for Moaataz!
Uganda is ably represented by International Master Arthur Ssegwanyi (left) and International Arbiter, @sskisuze at the FIDE World Cup 2021, one of the biggest international chess events. In the middle is Arthur's highly rated round one opponent. Keep the #Uganda flag flying. pic.twitter.com/CirnVMmg16
The Open section did not have much in the way of drama, but there was a close call in Nihal Sarin’s game. ChessBase India was covering the games and there was a dark mood in the chat. Arthur Ssegwanyi of Uganda had outplayed the Indian prodigy for 30 moves before he started shuffling his pieces around in an aimless way. His Rh1-h3-h1-a1 was puzzling. The Qc1-d2-c1-a3-a2 also lost a lot of time as black slowly mounted an attack on the g-file. The Ugandan IM had totally lost the thread on the position and after 48.Rb1 Nf7 49.Ke3?? Qh4! A disappointing result for Ssegwanyi.
As far as the other games, most ended with the favorite coming out on top. There was one game that GM Nigel Short stated should be showered with gold coins and that was Pablo Salinas Herrera’s brilliant win. Daniel Naroditsky had fellow GMs Hou Yifan and Veselin Topalov on the chess.com broadcast as they seem astounded.
As far as the African players, it was not a good day as only one player scored a victory and that player (Ahmed Adly) was winning his compatriot Abdelrahman Hesham. Here are the results of African players. GM Bassem Amin has a bye.
Africans at World Chess Cup July 12th-August 6th, 2021 (Sochi, Russia)
After players migrated to online play for a year, there was a longing for the interactions that make chess such an interesting sport to watch. This tournament will last until August 6th and will include many of the top players including World Champion, Magnus Carlsen. The expanded format between diverse players will promise a few upsets and perhaps give rise to unknown talents. FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich gave comments at the press conference.
The World Cup is one of the most significant events on the chess calendar and is very attractive for the spectators thanks to its knock-out formula. In order to minimize the organizational risks, we decided to unify the Open Section with the Women’s Section – all games will be played at the same time and place.
The top two finishers (apart from Carlsen) will earn a slot in the World Candidates tournament in 2022. The next six players will qualify for the FIDE Grand Prix 2022. This new format hopes to breathe new life into the professional tournament circuit which has featured the same combination of players for the past decade.
Each federation in the top 100 ranking had a chance to select one player to represent the country in the tournament. This gives the chess community to learn about national heroes who may not be well known. Elmer Prudente of Guam will be the lowest-ranking player, but discusses what it means to him.
Video by FIDE Chess
There were also wildcard nominees. Indian talents Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and Dommaraju Gukesh will join a strong contingent from the country. The world’s youngest Grandmaster Abhimanyu Mishra (USA) also received one of the selections and he will face Georgia’s Baadur Jobava.
Very happy and excited to make my debut in World cup chess at Sochi,Russia.Thanks @FIDE_chess and @advorkovich for the wildcard. Looking forward to the excitement ahead. Thanks @STLChessClub for the encouragement and support.
— Abhimanyu.mishra.chess (Youngest GM in the world) (@ChessMishra) June 22, 2021
In the women’s field, Russia will be defending home turf as they will have most of the top players in action. On the other hand, perennial favorite China only entered former champion Tan Zhongyi due to COVID travel restrictions from the governments. Humpy Koneru of India also nixed this event. The Muzychuk sisters (Anna and Mariya) will lead the Ukrainians and rising star Zhansaya Abdumalik will showcase some of the top talents in the women’s field. The complete list can be found below!
Each of the matches will comprise of two game matches, plus tiebreaks, if necessary. The last standing after the previous rounds will enter the seventh round of four games, plus tiebreaks if necessary. Players receive 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game plus 30 seconds per move starting from move one. If the score is tied the players then play two 25-minute + 10-second increment rapid games, then two 10+10 games, then two 5+3 and, finally, Armageddon, where White has 5 minutes to Black’s 4 but a draw qualifies Black for the next round.
Day 1 – 10.07.2021 – Arrivals
Day 2 – 11.07.2021 – Press conference (5 PM local time), Technical opening (6 PM local time)
Day 3 – 12.07.2021 – Round 1, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 4 – 13.07.2021 – Round 1, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 5 – 14.07.2021 – Round 1, Tie-break (3 PM local time)
Day 6 – 15.07.2021 – Round 2, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 7 – 16.07.2021 – Round 2, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 8 – 17.07.2021 – Round 2, Tie-break (3 PM local time)
Day 9 – 18.07.2021 – Round 3, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 10 – 19.07.2021 – Round 3, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 11 – 20.07.2021 – Round 3, Tie-break (3 PM local time)
Day 12 – 21.07.2021 – Free Day
Day 13 – 22.07.2021 – Round 4, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 14 – 23.07.2021 – Round 4, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 15 – 24.07.2021 – Round 4, Tie-break (3 PM local time)
Day 16 – 25.07.2021 – Round 5, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 17 – 26.07.2021 – Round 5, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 18 – 27.07.2021 – Round 5, Tie-break (3 PM local time)
Day 19 – 28.07.2021 – Round 6, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 20 – 29.07.2021 – Round 6, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 21 – 30.07.2021 – Round 6, Tie-break (3 PM local time)
Day 22 – 31.07.2021 – Free Day
Day 23 – 01.08.2021 – Round 7, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 24 – 02.08.2021 – Round 7, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 25 – 03.08.2021 – Round 7, Tie-break (3 PM local time)
Day 26 – 04.08.2021 – Final & Match for 3rd place, Game 1 (3 PM local time)
Day 27 – 05.08.2021 – Final & Match for 3rd place, Game 2 (3 PM local time)
Day 28 – 06.08.2021 – Final & Match for 3rd place, Tie-break & Closing Ceremony (3 PM local time)
Day 29 – 07.08.2021 – Media day
Day 30 – 08.08.2021 – Departures
Philadelphia was back in full force as a city that has made “Independence Day” an iconic holiday. It is also the home of the largest open chess tournament, the World Open. Last weekend the Continental Chess Association hosted the 49th edition at the Sheraton on 201 North 17th St. This tournament is where the magic happens. Hans Moke Niemann and John Burke are two homegrown talents in a sea of recent immigrants amongst American Grandmasters.
Some detractors believe the wave of chess immigrants (many of them Olympiad players for other countries) makes things tougher for American juniors to make the national team. It was the same argument in the 80s when a wave of Soviet players arrived. Niemann and Burke accepted the challenge and rose to the top in a strong field at the 49th World Open with an impressive 7.5/9. Neimann won the tiebreak.
WON THE PLAYOFF. World Open Champion!!! Won 13k this tourney, and 2k from winning Philly international.
There was some curiosity on what the turnout was going to be for the 2021 World Open. Last year’s event was held in an online format at the Internet Chess Club. Players who would not have normally traveled (or have not traveled) to the World Open were many as India’s GM Panneerselvam Iniyan won the event. This year’s turnout was surprisingly good with a bit less than 1100 players.
There were many scholastic players in the field ready to relieve Grandmasters of their rating points. When John Fedorowicz is the oldest Grandmaster, we know that things have changed. Armenian Grandmaster Vladimir Akopian played in his first tournament since transferring his federation to represent the U.S. He follows his compatriot Levon Aronian who made the big announcement in February. Akopian ended on 6.5/9.
As far as norms, IM Andrew Zhang made a GM norm, while FM Aydin Turgut, Eddy Tian and Kirk Ghazarian made IM norms. IM Kassa Korley came in with two GM norms and despite his solid 6/9, fell a bit short. However, he is edging closer to the required 2500 FIDE.
Abhimanyu Mishra was born on February 5th, 2009, and in an interview with FM Jim Eade, stated that he started playing chess at just 2-1/2 years old. After that, he began making history by setting several records in U.S. chess. He became the youngest 2000-rated player (7 years, 6 months), the youngest National Master (9 years 2 months, 17 days), and the world’s youngest International Master (10 years, 9 months, 3 days).
Since earning the International Master (IM) title, he and his family mapped out a plan to go for the ultimate predictor of World Championship material… the youngest Grandmaster in history. He was profiled by GM Maurice Ashley for the cover story in the October 2020 issue of Chess Life. On June 30th, 2021, Abhi earned his last GM norm at 12 years, 4 months, 25 days at the Vezerkepzo GM Mix tournament reaching his goal.
Abhimanyu and Hemant Mishra in Budapest, Hungary days after Abhi earned his Grandmaster title. Photo courtesy of Hemant Mishra
Over the years that have been many players who had potential to break the age record for Grandmaster title. Most recently there was Parimajan Negi (India), Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan), Javokhir Sindarov (Uzbekistan), Vincent Keymer (Germany), Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (India), Dommaraju Gukesh (India). All missed the mark. It appeared that India had the largest collection of young talent, and while they were unable to accomplish it, they may be able to make the claim in an indirect way. Here is the clinching game!
Abhimanyu or “Abhi,” who was born in the U.S., is the son of Indian migrants who left Bhopal, India, and settled in Englishtown, New Jersey. “Everything in our house revolves around his chess,” his mother Swati Mishra was quoted as saying in the Chess Life article. His father mentioned in the same article that he spent 25-30 hours a week to help Abhi develop. In a highly publicized mission last year which included a successful GoFundMe campaign, the Mishra family rallied moral support for their son.
Delayed 14 months by the COVID-19 pandemic, Abhi had until September 5, 2021. So the Mishras decided to move to Hungary in pursuit of Abhi’s goal. It was a tremendous sacrifice and it would remind one of the story of Fabiano Caruana whose family left the U.S. and moved to Europe to further his development and pursue the GM title.
Ahbi’s father (Hemant Mishra) has some words of wisdom:
“He broke the youngest National Expert record by six months, and then he took down the IM record too. In the long run, these records may not mean anything but the belief he’ll draw from chasing down these goals will stay with him for life.”
Very incisive! Parents would not think twice to make endless sacrifices for their children, but perhaps there is a hesitation to push them toward a career path. Hemant Mishra understands that being the world’s youngest chess GM in history will provide Abhi with the confidence to achieve in other disciplines. Chess continues to be used as a platform for other pursuits, but for now the Mishra family will focus on the next goal. The family, including Abhi’s younger sister, will be celebrating this magnificent accomplishment.
Finally checkmated the biggest opponent (ongoing pandemic ) which stopped me for 14 months. Thanks everybody for all your love and support. Looking forward for World cup. pic.twitter.com/llao5ZMMhC
— Abhimanyu.mishra.chess (Youngest GM) in the world) (@ChessMishra) June 30, 2021