“A child is a beam of sunlight from the Infinite and Eternal, with possibilities of virtue and vice, but as yet unstained.”
— Lyman Abbott, American Congregationalist minister
The above words rightly say that within a child, exist infinite possibilities to learn and grab whatever the concepts are taught to them keenly and easily. Earlier, kids were not quite aware of the fields and areas that could be explored by them with consistency, perseveration, determination, and hard work but today, there are hardly any fields that are untouched by children in which they have not excelled.
One of the notable testimonies of this is the achievements made by children who are prominent at playing chess on the international level. It is really surprising that wherein the earlier times, only mature and grownups were capable of becoming Grand Masters and achieving renowned titles, with the passage of time, children as young as at the age of twelve or thirteen are ready to claim the Grand Master and not only this, they are meeting every existing criterion which is needed for this. The support from the government at the global level, consistent availability of information, and regularly organized tournaments are playing a key role in boosting the confidence of young kids when it comes to playing chess and participating in events that are organized at the international level.
A briefing about the world’s top ten youngest Grand Masters has been compiled here:-
1. Sergey Karjakin
Karjakin, like many other famous chess players, began learning chess at the age of roughly five or six and succeeded in becoming an International Master at the age of just eleven. He has tasted victory as World Rapid Champion in the year 2012 and as World Blitz Champion in the year 2016. He flamboyantly holds the record of the youngest Grand Master in chess history at the age of just 12 years and 7 months. One of his pivotal aims is to challenge Magnus Carlen in the World Chess Championship and win against him.

2. Gukesh Dommaraju
A chess prodigy, belonging to India, Gukesh Dommaraju became the second youngest Grand Master after Sergey Karjakin by losing by just 17 days. Mr. Bhaskar, Gukesh’s first and school coach recognized his talent and ensured his entry into the FIDE chess challenge, and motivated to become a FIDE rated player within six months of him joining the game.

3. Javokhir Sindarov
At the time of earning the Grand Master title, Javokhir was the first layer since Karjakin to grab the title before turning 13 years old. This excellent chess youngster belongs to Uzbek. He earned his final Grandmaster norm, needed to bag the Grand Master title at the First Saturday Tournament in Budapest, Hungary. The first two norms were, however, completed at Alekhine Memorial and the FIDE World Junior Championship. All three norms were completed in one year itself and the year was 2018.

4. Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu
The Indian chess prodigy, Rameshbabu, firstly got famous by winning continental (Asian) championships and then two world championship titles. He became the world’s youngest International Master when he was just 10 years old. This remarkable record is held by him even today. He scored his third and last Grand Master norm at the fourth Grenadine open in Ortisei, Italy.

5. Nodirbek Abdusattorov
Abdusattorov became famous for the first time and secured a place for himself in the headlines when he defeated two Grand Masters at Tashkent Open in the year 2014 when he was just nine years old. He is another chess prodigy who belongs to Uzbek. He earned his first and third Grand Master norm at Chigorin Memorial and the second norm in Abu Dhabi in the year 2017.

6. Parimarjan Negi
Currently pursuing Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Parimarjan Negi became the Grand Master at the age of just 13 years in the year 2006. Even after earning the proud title globally, Negi has been awarded Arjuna Award by the Government of India in the year 2010 and has also successfully won the Indian and Asian chess championships.

7. Magnus Carlsen
In a league of his own, Magnus Carlsen has been given the nickname of “Mozart of Chess” and is popularly known throughout the world. He is the reigning world champion of the present times with an unfathomably high skyrocketed record of 2882. His consistency in displaying talented and well-thought moves during various games has always left the audience and the chess experts awestruck and earned him much praise and fame globally. When researched about the most famous game played by him, we get to know about his game against Garry Kasparov which he could turn into a draw at the age of just 13 years.

8. Wei Yi
2nd youngest chess player to break the 2600 rating barrier, Wei Yi has broken multiple age and rating records during his lifetime. In the year 2013, his progress was apparent and mesmerizing as he bagged the titles of International Master and Grand Master, both in the same year when he was just 13 years 8 months and 23 days old. This chess prodigy from China later at the age of 15 became the youngest player to break the 2700 rating barrier. He also represents the Jiangsu Club in China Chess League.

9. Raunak Sadhwani
Raunak Sadhwani is the 4th youngest Grand Master of India. He bagged the title of Grand Master even before he turned 13 years old. He secured his third Grand Master norm in FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss in the year 2019. He holds the record of not losing a single game against some of the best players in the world.

10. Bu Xiangzhi
Bu Xiangzhi earned the title of Grand Master in the year 1999 and was the youngest player to do so until when Karjakin broke the record in 2002. Xiangzhi has won the Chinese Chess Championship in the year 2004. Apart from this, he has impressively represented China in four Olympiads, the latest being the one held in the year 2018 wherein China won Gold.

Concluding, these masterminds of chess have proven that age is not a factor if one strives to achieve a certain goal. At a very young age, these all have succeeded in securing a place for themselves in the world of chess which has fetched them both name and fame!

Author's Bio: 

Noman Jahangir
Marketing Manager at https://saswath.academy
Saswath Academy provides chess classes for kids in Bengalore as well as Online chess coaching.