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Abdusattorov (13) Now 2nd-Youngest GM In History
Nodirbek Abdusattorov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Abdusattorov (13) Now 2nd-Youngest GM In History

By securing his third grandmaster norm on Sunday Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan became the second youngest grandmaster in history. Only Sergey Karjakin got the title at a younger age.

Abdusattorov played in the Chigorin Memorial in St Petersburg, where he scored 6.5/9 which included wins against GMs S.P. Sethuraman and Evgeny Levin. He finished with draws against GMs Artyom Timofeev and Evgeny Alekseev.

Here's his black win vs Sethuraman:

Abdusattorov's 6.5/9 was enough for his rating to cross 2500, and his third grandmaster norm. For that, he needed a performance rating of at least 2600, while his TPR was 2629. (In fact it would be 2644 for the calculation of his norm, since the 2058 rating of his first-round opponent would be adjusted to 2200.)

FIDE also requires that "[a]t least two federations other than that of the title applicant must be included" in the list of federations of his participants, and that "[a] maximum of 3/5 of the opponents may come from the applicant's federation and a maximum of 2/3 of the opponents from one federation."

That last requirement would have been a problem, since eight of Abdusattorov's opponents were from Russia, and one from India. However, the following clause in the FIDE Handbook came to the rescue:

1.43e Swiss System tournaments in which participants include in every round at least 20 FIDE rated players participate, not from the host federation, from at least 3 different federations, at least 10 of whom hold GM, IM, WGM or WIM titles. (...)

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Nodirbek Abdusattorov at the Sharjah Masters in March 2017. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Abdusattorov, born 18 September 2004, fulfilled all requirements for the grandmaster title on 29 October 2017, at the age of 13 years, 1 month and 11 days. That was faster than Parimarjan Negi, who became a grandmaster at 13 years, 4 months and 22 days, and Magnus Carlsen, who got the title at 13 years, 4 months and 27 days.

The record is still in the hands of Sergey Karjakin, who became a grandmaster when he was 12 years, 7 months and 0 days. Abdusattorov is now, obviously, the youngest grandmaster in the world. He took over that title from Awonder Liang.

Youngest Grandmasters in History

No. Fed Player Country Age
1. Sergey Karjakin Russia 12 years, 7 months, 0 days
2. Nodirbek Abdusattorov Uzbekistan 13 years, 1 month, 11 days
3. Parimarjan Negi India 13 years, 4 months, 22 days
4. Magnus Carlsen Norway 13 years, 4 months, 27 days
5. Wei Yi China 13 years, 8 months, 23 days
6. Bu Xiangzhi China 13 years, 10 months, 13 days
7. Samuel Sevian United States 13 years, 10 months, 27 days
8. Richard Rapport Hungary 13 years, 11 months, 6 days
9. Teimour Radjabov Azerbaijan 14 years, 0 months, 14 days
10. Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine 14 years, 0 months, 17 days
11. Awonder Liang United States 14 years, 1 month, 20 days
12. Wesley So United States 14 years, 1 month, 28 days
13. Etienne Bacrot France 14 years, 2 months, 0 days
14. Illya Nyzhnyk Ukraine 14 years, 3 months, 2 days
15. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave France 14 years, 4 months, 0 days
16. Peter Leko Hungary 14 years, 4 months, 22 days
17. Jorge Cori Peru 14 years, 5 months, 15 days
18. Hou Yifan China 14 years, 6 months, 16 days
19. Jeffery Xiong United States 14 years, 6 months, 25 days
20. Anish Giri Netherlands 14 years, 7 months, 2 days
21. Yuriy Kuzubov Ukraine 14 years, 7 months, 12 days
22. Bogdan Daniel Deac Romania 14 years, 7 months, 27 days
23. Dariusz Swiercz Poland 14 years, 7 months, 29 days
24. Aryan Chopra India 14 years, 9 months, 3 days
25. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son Vietnam 14 years, 10 months, 0 days
26. Daniil Dubov Russia 14 years, 11 months, 14 days
27. Ray Robson United States 14 years, 11 months, 16 days
28. Fabiano Caruana United States 14 years, 11 months, 20 days
29. Yu Yangyi China 14 years, 11 months, 23 days

There's one player who still has a chance to beat Karjakin's record: Praggnanandhaa R. The Indian prodigy is 12 years, 2 months and 21 days old, which means he has a bit more than four months left to score three GM norms. Praggnanandhaa in fact also played in the Chigorin Memorial, where he scored a disappointing 2314 performance rating.

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A close up, also from the Sharjah Masters in March 2017. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Abdusattorov's name made headlines first when he defeated two grandmasters at the age of nine, in 2014 at the Tashkent Open. He scored his first GM norm in last year's Chigorin Memorial and then went on to achieve his second in Abu Dhabi in August 2017.

He is by far the biggest Uzbek talent since Rustam Kasimdzhanov, who won the 2004 FIDE Knockout World Championship in Tripoli, and worked for many years as one of Viswanathan Anand's seconds. Kasimdzhanov, who currently works with Fabiano Caruana, commented to Chess.com:

"I really don't know him all that well, and am certainly as impressed as the rest of the chess world. His play seems mature well beyond his years and there is no telling how far he might go. I had a training session with him and some other kids in Tashkent some time ago, and whilst it was clear that he's very gifted others quite definitely kept his pace; so I'm very hopeful of the future of Uzbekistan's chess.

I don't really know him personally; but from what I could tell he is a nice kid 😀"

Magnus Carlsen and Nodirbek Abdusattorov, almost two years ago playing football during the Qatar Masters.

Dmitry Kayumov of Uzbekistan, the coach of Abdusattorov, said in an interview in February of this year: "During 40 years of coaching in different countries, I brought up many international grandmasters, but I must admit that I have never met such a talent as Nodirbek. The boy is very athletic, hardworking, has an excellent memory,  memorizes game positions well and, what is most important and a rare quality, is not afraid of an opponent."

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