Akshat Chandra

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Akshat Chandra
Akshat Chandra, US Junior Championship, July 2015.jpg
Chandra in 2015
BornLivingston, New Jersey, United States
FIDE rating2536 (February 2021)
Peak rating2536 (February 2020)

Akshat Chandra (born 1999) is an American chess prodigy, who has recorded one of the fastest rises in chess history.[1][2][3]

Chandra started playing Chess during a visit to India in 2009 when he was about 9 years old.[2] Later, when his family relocated to India for a few years, Akshat was further drawn into the game.[4] In January 2010, Chandra received his starting FIDE rating of 1548. In May 2015, within a period of 5 years and 5 months, he crossed the 2500 Grand Master (GM) rating level in realtime rating. This 952 point gain is the fastest rating improvement in the world of this magnitude recorded in such a short time.[2][3] The gains were achieved prior to FIDE's change of K-factor multiple effective July 2014 for players aged 18 and less, which inflated the point gains by 33% for the same level of performance as before.[5][6]

In the 2016 Saint Louis Autumn Invitational, Chandra achieved the 6-day norm and completed his grandmaster title requirements.[7][8][9] He was officially awarded the Grandmaster title in March 2017.[10]

In April 2015, at the age of 15, Chandra won the highest Scholastic Chess title in the US–the National K-12 Championship.[11][12] In July 2015, he became the US Junior Champion (Closed).[2][13] This was the first time in US Chess that both the top Scholastic and the Junior titles were held by the same individual in a single year. In addition, Chandra was the 2015 National High School Blitz Chess Champion as well. In April 2013, as a 13-year old, Chandra won the K-9 Super-National championship.[14][15] These are the only two US scholastic tournaments Chandra ever played in, winning them both in his first attempt.

Chandra has been consistently ranked as the number 1 player in the US in his age category since 2013.[16] He has also been part of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) All America Chess Team for each year, and has qualified to represent the US at the World Youth Championships in all years since 2013.[17][18] At the age of 14, Chandra won the gold at the North American Youth Championship, U-18 section, in Toronto, Canada.[19][20]

Since April 2014, at the age of 14, Chandra has remained the highest USCF rated Junior Rapid Chess player (U21) in the country.[21]

After learning chess from local part-time coaches, Chandra, at the age of 10, began working with his first professional coach, the Serbian GM Predrag Trajkovic, who worked with him for about 4 1/2 years until early 2014. Trajkovic exposed him to the typical Soviet style of chess, with its focus on positional understanding.[2]

Chandra is also an avid writer.[22] He has documented his journey from a beginner to Grandmaster level on his blog Quest to GM, which was then converted to his personal website after achieving the GM title. [9] He was also the youngest regular writer for the most visited chess media website in the world, Chessbase, and also contributed articles to the USCF official website.[23]

Besides growing up in the US, Chandra has also lived in India for a few years, and for a few months in Europe in 2012.

Chandra was a recipient of the 2016 U.S. Chess Trust Scholar-Player award, sponsored by the U.S. Chess Trust and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.[24]

In 2018, Chandra was the winner of the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) FIDE Open tournament. In 2019, Chandra won the 13th annual SPICE Cup Open.[25] He is the only player to have finished sole first in the top two US collegiate open tournaments - the UTD FIDE and the Spice Cup.[26] In January 2020, Chandra tied for second place with a score of 6.5/9 in the Charlotte Open, held in Charlotte, North Carolina, tying with GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi, GM Andrew Tang, GM Ulvi Bajarani, and IM Aaron Grabinsky. [27]


  1. ^ "Chess Profile". FIDE World Chess Federation.
  2. ^ a b c d e Jeraud, Brian. "Suddenly Chandra". Chess Life, USCF (October 2015): 20–25.
  3. ^ a b "Akshat Chandra". US Chess Champs. Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
  4. ^ Dutt, Ela (August 2015). "Akshat Chandra: The Making Of A Grand Master". News India Times. Archived from the original on 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
  5. ^ FIDE, World Chess Federation. "Summary Report of QC Council Meeting". FIDE World Chess Federation.
  6. ^ FIDE World Chess Federation. "Ratings Calculator". FIDE World Chess Federation.
  7. ^ US Chess Federation. "Quest to GM Complete: Akshat Earns Final Norm in Saint Louis". US Chess Federation.
  8. ^ Saint Louis Public Radio. "How a little faith and a move to St. Louis created a Grandmaster". St. Louis Public Radio.
  9. ^ a b "The End of One Quest, The Start of Another". AkshatChandra.com.
  10. ^ "List of titles approved by the Presidential Board by written resolution". FIDE. March 3, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  11. ^ Barrera, Jorge. "Celebrating Spring Scholastics - The National High School Championship". Chess Life, USCF (July 2015): 20–24.
  12. ^ Barerra, Jorge. "Quest to Columbus: IM Chandra Wins High School Championship". US Chess.
  13. ^ West, Vanessa. "US Junior Champion and Beyond: Akshat Chandra". US Chess Federation.
  14. ^ Matthews, Melinda. "Supernationals V - Largest Rated Tournament in History of Chess" (June 2013): 34. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ Matthews, Melinda. "Melinda's Swan Song to SuperNationals". USChess.org (US Chess Federation).
  16. ^ "Top Age 16 Players in the US". US Chess Federation.
  17. ^ Nash, Jerry. "Players Qualify for 2013 World Youth". US Chess Federation.
  18. ^ Smith, Patricia. "2014 All-America Chess Team Announced". US Chess Federation.
  19. ^ "Losing & Winning the North American Youth Chess Championship". Quest to GM.
  20. ^ "US Squad Bags Bevy of Medals & Norms in Toronto". US Chess Federation.
  21. ^ US, Chess Federation. "Top Quick Under Age 21, April 2014". US Chess Federation.
  22. ^ "Journey of Akshat Chandra from Beginner to Grandmaster". Quest to GM.
  23. ^ Chandra, Akshat. "Author Chessbase". Chess Base.
  24. ^ Hoffpauir, Mike. "2016 Scholar – Chess Player Awards". US Chess Federation.
  25. ^ "13th Annual SPICE Cup Open November 2019 United States of America FIDE Chess Tournament report". ratings.fide.com. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  26. ^ Chandra, Akshat. "SLU Chess Team". SLU.
  27. ^ http://chessstream.com/Charlotte-Open/table.aspx#254/Championship/Championship-standing-after-round9.html

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