Grandmaster

billwall
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First used in connection with chess as a player of highest class in 1838.  On February 18, 1838, the London newspaper Bell’s Life published a letter by a reader to award the title of Grandmaster to William Lewis.   The title of grandmaster was first used in 1907 at the Ostend tournament.  In 1914, Nicholas II, the Czar of Russia, conferred the title 'Grandmaster of Chess' on Emanuel Lasker, Alekhine, Capablanca,  Tarrasch, and Marshall after they took the top 5 places in the St. Petersburg tournament.  These are the five original Grandmasters.  In 1949 FIDE recognized the term Grand Master for 17 players:  Fine, Reshevsky, Bronstein (age 26), Boleslavsky, Flohr, Keres, Kotov, Lilienthal, Smyslov, Botvinnik, Levenfish, Ragozin, Najdorf, Stahlberg, Szabo, Maroczy, and Euwe.   In 1950 FIDE awarded 27 players the first official Grandmaster title.  These players were: Bernstein, Boleslavsky, Bondarevsky, Botvinnik, Bronstein, Duras, Euwe, Fine, Flohr, Gruenfeld, Keres, Kostic, Kotov, Levenfish, Lilienthal, Maroczy, Mieses (age 85), Najdorf, Ragozin, Reshevsky, Rubinstein, Saemisch, Smyslov, Stahlberg, Szabo, Tartakower, and Vidmar. In the 1960s the United States had more Grandmasters than International Masters.  Grandmaster titles awarded in 2004 include Rodrigo Vasquez, Zvonko Stanojoski, Alexey Kim, Alexander Potapov, Evgeny Shaposhnikov, and Robert Markus.  The youngest GMs have been Sergey Karjakin (12 years, 7 months), Magnus Carlsen (13 years, 3 months), Bu Xiangzhi (13 years, 10 months), Teimour Radjabov and Ruslan Ponomariov (14 years old), Etienne Bacrot (14 years, 2 months), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Peter Leko (14 years, 4 months), Yuri Kuzubov (14 years, 7 months), Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (14 years 10 months), Hikaru Nakamura (15 years, 2 months), Koneru Humpy (15 years, 1 month), Judit Polgar (15 years, 4 months), and Bobby Fischer (15 years, 6 months).

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