Chandra in 2015
|Born||Livingston, New Jersey, United States|
|FIDE rating||2513 (September 2019)|
|Peak rating||2515 (December 2016)|
Chandra started playing Chess during a visit to India in 2009 when he was about 9 1/2 years old. Later, when his family relocated to India for a few years, Akshat was further drawn into the game. 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. 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.
In the 2016 Saint Louis Autumn Invitational, Chandra achieved the 6-day norm and completed his grandmaster title requirements. He was officially awarded the Grandmaster title in March 2017.
In April 2015, at the age of 15, Chandra won the highest Scholastic Chess title in the US–the National K-12 Championship. In July 2015, he became the US Junior Champion (Closed). 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. 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. 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. At the age of 14, Chandra won the gold at the North American Youth Championship, U-18 section, in Toronto, Canada.
Since April 2014, at the age of 14, Chandra has remained the highest USCF rated Junior Rapid Chess player (U21) in the country.
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.
Chandra is also an avid writer. 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.  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.
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.
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