Abhimanyu “Abhi” Mishra made history this week, becoming the youngest US Chess master ever. And then he ate ice cream.
Mishra broke the magic 2200 barrier at 9 years, 2 months and 17 days, besting the previous record held by Liran Zhou of 9 years, 3 months and 22 days. Abhi clinched the honor on April 22, at the South Jersey Chess Club Action Quad in Marlton, NJ. Afterwards, he celebrated at Cold Stone Creamery, where he ordered the “Birthday Cake Remix” and “Our Strawberry Blonde”. Mishra told US Chess that his favorite game on his final stretch to the NM title was in a quad a week prior, also in New Jersey.
Mishra faced World Championship challenger Fabiano Caruana in a 2016 simul, as described in the New Yorker: “Among the very last players to be eliminated—and the only one to survive beyond his bedtime—was Abhimanyu Mishra, six years old, who had been taking swigs from a Lightning McQueen water bottle.” With the wisdom of a few more years of chess study and practice, Abhi revealed his impressions of Fabiano:
I think Fabiano is the only player in the world currently who can beat Magnus. I like his positional play.
Chess at the top level needs some excitement in the form of a new World Champion. People are getting tired seeing Magnus not getting tough resistance.
Abhi’s chess hero is Garry Kasparov, for his attacking play and high win % with black, “I hope to work with him one day.”
Mishra praised his amazing coaches, GM Arun Prasad S and Magesh Panchanathan, as well as the intense US Chess School sessions he attended.
After celebrating with his coaches and friends at Kings and Queens Chess Academy, Abhi’s plans to work on becoming the youngest IM in the World, a record currently held by IM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa.
It means a lot to become the youngest master in US Chess history. It gives me confidence to chase down the youngest IM and GM in the World records, which will require lots of pushing and hard work.
Mishra’s favorite game in his short but illustrious career is this victory, played at the World Cadet Championships, where he earned the silver medal.