Chess prodigy

A chess prodigy is a child who can beat experienced adult players, and even Masters, at chess. Expectations can be high for chess prodigies. While some become World Champions, others show little or no progress in adulthood.

Early chess prodigies

Early chess prodigies were Paul Morphy (1837–1884) and José Raúl Capablanca (1888–1942), both of whom won matches against strong adult opponents at the age of 12, and Samuel Reshevsky (1911–1992), who was giving simultaneous exhibitions at the age of six.[1] Morphy went on to be unofficial World Champion (before the official title existed), Capablanca became the third World Champion, and Reshevsky—while never attaining the title—was amongst the top few players in the world for many decades.

List of youngest grandmasters

Since 1950, when the Grandmaster (GM) title was introduced by FIDE, one measure of chess prodigies is the age at which they gain the GM title. Below are players who have held the record for youngest grandmaster. The record has been held by Sergey Karjakin (then Ukraine) since 2002. The age listed is the age at which they qualified for the title. This is not equal to the age at which they officially became Grandmasters, because GM titles can only be awarded at FIDE congresses.

Note: all players are listed by their nationality at the time of gaining the title, not their current or later nationality.

1950David Bronstein Soviet Union26 years
1952Tigran Petrosian Soviet Union23 years
1955Boris Spassky Soviet Union18 years
1958Bobby Fischer United States15 years, 6 months, 1 day
1991Judit Polgár Hungary15 years, 4 months, 28 days
1994Péter Lékó Hungary14 years, 4 months, 22 days
1997Étienne Bacrot France14 years, 2 months, 0 days
1997Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine14 years, 0 months, 17 days
1999Bu Xiangzhi China13 years, 10 months, 13 days
2003Sergey Karjakin Ukraine12 years, 7 months, 0 days

This is a list of the players who became Grandmasters before their 15th birthday.

No.PlayerCountryAgeBirth year
1.Sergey Karjakin Ukraine12 years, 7 months, 0 days1990
2.Gukesh D India12 years, 7 months, 17 days2006
3.Javokhir Sindarov Uzbekistan12 years, 10 months, 5 days2005
4.Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu India12 years, 10 months, 13 days2005
5.Nodirbek Abdusattorov Uzbekistan13 years, 1 month, 11 days2004
6.Parimarjan Negi India13 years, 4 months, 22 days1993
7.Magnus Carlsen Norway13 years, 4 months, 27 days1990
8.Wei Yi China13 years, 8 months, 23 days[2]1999
9.Raunak Sadhwani India13 years, 9 months, 28 days[3]2005
10.Bu Xiangzhi China13 years, 10 months, 13 days1985
11.Samuel Sevian United States13 years, 10 months, 27 days[4]2000
12.Richárd Rapport Hungary13 years, 11 months, 6 days[5]1996
13.Teimour Radjabov Azerbaijan14 years, 0 months, 14 days1987
14.Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine14 years, 0 months, 17 days1983
15. Nihal Sarin  India 14 years, 1 month, 1 day 2004
16.Awonder Liang United States14 years, 1 month, 20 days[6][7]2003
17.Wesley So Philippines14 years, 1 month, 28 days[8]1993
18.Étienne Bacrot France14 years, 2 months, 0 days1983
19.Illya Nyzhnyk Ukraine14 years, 3 months, 2 days[9]1996
20.Maxime Vachier-Lagrave France14 years, 4 months, 6 days[10]1990
21.Péter Lékó Hungary14 years, 4 months, 22 days1979
22.Jorge Cori Peru14 years, 5 months, 15 days[11]1995
23.Hou Yifan China14 years, 6 months, 16 days[12]1994
24.Jeffery Xiong United States14 years, 6 months, 25 days[13]2000
25.Anish Giri Russia14 years, 7 months, 2 days[14]1994
26.Yuriy Kuzubov Ukraine14 years, 7 months, 12 days[15]1990
27.Bogdan-Daniel Deac Romania14 years, 7 months, 27 days[16]2001
28.Dariusz Świercz Poland14 years, 7 months, 29 days1994
29.Alireza Firouzja Iran14 years, 8 months, 2 days2003
30.Aryan Chopra India14 years, 9 months, 3 days[17]2001
31.Nguyễn Ngọc Trường Sơn Vietnam14 years, 9 months, 22 days[18]1990
32.Kirill Shevchenko Ukraine14 years, 9 months, 23 days2002
33.Vincent Keymer Germany14 years, 11 months, 4 days[19]2004
34.Arjun Erigaisi India14 years, 11 months, 13 days2003
35.Daniil Dubov Russia14 years, 11 months, 14 days[20]1996
36.Ray Robson United States14 years, 11 months, 16 days[21]1994
37.Fabiano Caruana Italy14 years, 11 months, 20 days[22]1992
38.Yu Yangyi China14 years, 11 months, 23 days[23]1994

Here are the holders of the record for the youngest ever female to become a grandmaster (not to be confused with the lesser Woman Grandmaster title):

1978Nona Gaprindashvili Soviet Union37 years
1984Maia Chiburdanidze Soviet Union23 years
1991Susan Polgar Hungary21 years
1991Judit Polgár Hungary15 years, 4 months
2002Humpy Koneru India15 years 1 month
2008Hou Yifan China14 years, 6 months[24]


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  2. Wei Yi has become the youngest GM in the world Archived February 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
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  6. "Abdusattorov (13) Second Youngest GM In History". 31 October 2017. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  7. Polgar, Susan (30 May 2017). "Awonder Liang has earned his final GM norm at 14 years and 1 month! Congratulations to Awonder and the Liang family! @USChess". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  8. 14-year-old Filipino is newest grandmaster Archived January 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. "GM title for Illya Nyzhnyk in Groningen". 1 January 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  10. "British and French championships". 20 August 2005. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  11. Cori achieved his final GM norm in October 2009, but he crossed the 2500 rating mark during a tournament in January 2010
  12. Hou Yifan – the youngest female grandmaster in history (Chessbase, December 8, 2008) gives 14-6-2, but this cannot be correct because that date (August 29) was the first day of the Women's World Chess Championship 2008. Chessbase appears to have used the first day of the championship, instead of the day she qualified for the final and earned her 3rd norm (September 12).
  13. Ramirez, Alejandro (1 June 2015). "Jeffery Xiong rocks Chicago". ChessBase. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  14. Anish Giri, 14, makes his final GM norm ChessBase January 31, 2009
  15. "Yuriy Kuzubov joins the mini-GM club". 7 September 2004. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  16. "The chess games of Bogdan-Daniel Deac". Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  17. Staff, Scroll. "Delhi's Aryan, 14, Secures Grandmaster Title". Retrieved 2016-09-17.
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  19. Schormann, Conrad (2019-10-20). "„It should have come earlier": 14 year old Vincent Keymer and the Grandmaster title". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  20. Satrapa, James (2011-08-07). "Daniil Dubov, grandmaster at fourteen". Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  21. Ray Robson is the new youngest GM Archived October 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  22. "Who was the future GM? Fabiano Caruana, Italy's top grandmaster!". 18 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  23. "Chess prodigies and mini-grandmasters". 10 January 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  24. WWCC - Nalchik 2008 - and now there are just four!, FIDE web site, September 9, 2008
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