Akshat Chandra

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Akshat Chandra
Chandra in 2015
CountryUnited States
BornMay 28, 1999 (1999-05-28) (age 24)
Livingston, New Jersey, U.S.
TitleGrandmaster (2012)
FIDE rating2481 (May 2024)
Peak rating2536 (February 2020)

Akshat Chandra (born May 28, 1999) is an American chess player.[1][2][3] He started playing Chess during a visit to India in 2009 when he was nine years old.[2] In 2015, he won the US National K-12 Championship and was also the US Junior Champion, the first time both titles were held by the same person in a single year.[2] He earned the FIDE title of Grandmaster (GM) in March 2017.[4]

Chess career[edit]

After learning chess from local part-time coaches, he began working with his first professional coach, the Serbian GM Predrag Trajkovic, in 2010, who worked with him for about 4+12 years until early 2014. Trajkovic exposed him to Soviet style chess, with a focus on positional understanding.[2]

In January 2010, he received his starting FIDE rating of 1548. In May 2015 he crossed the 2500 Grandmaster (GM) rating level in realtime rating, the fastest rating improvement in the world of this magnitude recorded in such a short time.[2][3] This was achieved prior to FIDE's change of K-factor multiple effective July 2014 for players aged 18 and less, which inflated point gains.[5][6]

In April 2013, he won the K-9 Super-National championship.[7][8] He was consistently ranked as the number one player in the US in his age category since 2013.[9] At the age of 14, Chandra won the gold at the North American Youth Championship, U-18 section, in Toronto, Canada.[10][11]

Since April 2014, Chandra has remained the highest USCF rated Junior Rapid Chess player (U21) in the country.[12]

In April 2015, Chandra won the highest Scholastic Chess title in the US–the National K-12 Championship.[13][14] In July 2015, he became the US Junior Champion (Closed).[2][15] 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 the 2016 Saint Louis Autumn Invitational, Chandra achieved the six-day norm and completed his grandmaster title requirements.[16][17][18] He was awarded the Grandmaster title in March 2017.[4]

In 2018, he won the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) FIDE Open tournament. In 2019, he won the 13th annual SPICE Cup Open.[19] 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.[20]

In January 2020, he 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.[21]

In December 2021, Chandra tied for 1st place at the 2021 Charlotte Open alongside Grandmasters Titas Stremavičius, Cemil Can Ali Marandi, Tanguy Ringoir, Robby Kevlishvili, and then-IM Christopher Yoo.[22]

Personal life[edit]

Besides growing up in the US, Chandra lived in India for a few years, and in Europe in 2012. When his family had relocated to India, Akshat was drawn to Chess.[23] He is also a writer,[24] and documented his journey from a beginner to Grandmaster level on his blog Quest to GM, which was then converted to a personal website.[18] He was the youngest regular writer for Chessbase, and contributed articles to the USCF official website.[25]

He received the 2016 U.S. Chess Trust Scholar-Player award, sponsored by the U.S. Chess Trust and the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.[26]


  1. ^ "Chess Profile". FIDE World Chess Federation.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 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. ^ a b "List of titles approved by the Presidential Board by written resolution". FIDE. March 3, 2017. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  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. ^ Matthews, Melinda. "Supernationals V - Largest Rated Tournament in History of Chess" (June 2013): 34. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ Matthews, Melinda. "Melinda's Swan Song to SuperNationals". USChess.org (US Chess Federation).
  9. ^ "Top Age 16 Players in the US". US Chess Federation.
  10. ^ "Losing & Winning the North American Youth Chess Championship". Quest to GM.
  11. ^ "US Squad Bags Bevy of Medals & Norms in Toronto". US Chess Federation.
  12. ^ US, Chess Federation. "Top Quick Under Age 21, April 2014". US Chess Federation.
  13. ^ Barrera, Jorge. "Celebrating Spring Scholastics - The National High School Championship". Chess Life, USCF (July 2015): 20–24.
  14. ^ Barerra, Jorge. "Quest to Columbus: IM Chandra Wins High School Championship". US Chess.
  15. ^ West, Vanessa. "US Junior Champion and Beyond: Akshat Chandra". US Chess Federation.
  16. ^ US Chess Federation (December 7, 2016). "Quest to GM Complete: Akshat Earns Final Norm in Saint Louis". US Chess Federation.
  17. ^ Saint Louis Public Radio (December 2016). "How a little faith and a move to St. Louis created a Grandmaster". St. Louis Public Radio.
  18. ^ a b "The End of One Quest, The Start of Another". AkshatChandra.com. November 30, 2016.
  19. ^ "13th Annual SPICE Cup Open November 2019 United States of America FIDE Chess Tournament report". ratings.fide.com. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
  20. ^ Chandra, Akshat. "SLU Chess Team". SLU.
  21. ^ "Charlotte Open - Chess Tournament".
  22. ^ "2021 Charlotte Open".
  23. ^ Dutt, Ela (August 2015). "Akshat Chandra: The Making Of A Grand Master". News India Times. Archived from the original on December 19, 2015. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
  24. ^ "Journey of Akshat Chandra from Beginner to Grandmaster". Quest to GM.
  25. ^ Chandra, Akshat. "Author Chessbase". Chess Base.
  26. ^ Hoffpauir, Mike (March 25, 2016). "2016 Scholar – Chess Player Awards". US Chess Federation.

External links[edit]