World’s Youngest To Attain Chess Grandmaster Status

by:  joeyj   :   04 March 2013

On May 1, 2012  published World’s Youngest To Attain GM, 2600, 2700, 2800 and WC  and one of the topic was the World’s  “Youngest Grandmasters (GMs) in History”

Since then there was a new comer who came in i.e.  Wei Yi The World’s Youngest Grandmaster at 13yrs-8mos-24days  and some incorrect data that needed to be rectified e.g. GMs Richard Rapport, Hou Yifan, Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, Yaroslav Zherebukh and Arkadij Naiditsch  age when they finally qualified for the GM title thus this new updated publication.

Additionally, as we account the GMs records, additional age group was added to make it 3-age-groups at present i.e. GMs @ 13-years-old and under,  GMs @ 14-years-old and GMs @ 15 to 15½ years old.

A.  GMs @ 13-years-old and under

Karjakin(UKR), Negi(IND), Carlsen(NOR), Wei Yi(CHN), Bu Xiangzhi(CHN) and Rapport(HUN)

B.  GMs @ 14-years-old 

Radjabov (AZE), Ponomariov (UKR) and Wesley So (PHI)

C.  GMs @ 15 to 15½ years old

Volokitin(UKR), Yu Yangyi(CHN) and Koneru(IND)

As of 26 February 2013,  there are now 35 GMs included in the list of World’s Youngest To Attain Chess Grandmaster Status, with 6 GMs listed @ 13-years-old and under17 GMs (No. 7-23)  listed @ 14-years-old and 12 GMs (No. 24-35) listed at 15 to 15½ years old when they qualified for the title.

NoteSome incorrect data that needed to be rectified as reported & published earlier.

Richard Rapport

1. *Richard Rapport age was recomputed using 3 March 2010 as the date when he completed his 3rd & final GM norm (Round 9 of Gotth’Art Kupa 2010 in Szentgotthárd). From  25 March 1996 (born) to 3 March 2010 is  13yrs-11mos-6days


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Hou Yifan

2.  Hou Yifan age was recomputed using 12 September 2008 as date when she qualified as ‘Finalist’ of the Women’s World Chess Championship 2008 after she won against Humpy Koneru in the semi-finals via tiebreaks.  FIDE handbook on ‘FIDE Title Regulations’ para 1.24, the chart  states that, a “Finalist in the Women’s  World Championship” is automatically awarded a GM norm.

Since Hou Yifan was born 27 February 1994, her correct age when she achieved her 3rd and final GM norm on 12 Sep 2008 should be 14yrs-6mos-16days.

Sample computation:

Fr 27 Feb 94 to  27 Feb 2008 =  14yrs
Fr 27 Feb 2008 to 27 Aug 2008 =  6 months
(27 Aug 08 to 31 Aug 08)  4 days +  (1 Sep 08 to 12 Sep 08) 12 days = 16 days

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Samvel Ter-Sahakyan

3.  Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (born Sep 19, 1993) whose FIDE rating on July 2008 was 2480 gained a commulative total of +14.8 rating points in 3-Tournaments he participated and the last was the World Youth Under-16 Chess Olympiad on August 2008 to register his live rating at 2494.8. He only needs at least +5.2 to breach the 2500 rating and complete his GM title requirements (3-GM norms were already previously achieved).  On September 18, 2008, just 1-day short of celebrating his 15th birthday, at age 14yrs-11mos-30days, he gained a commulative total of +8.2 rating after four rounds (R1-R4) of play at the European Youth Chess Championship 2008 – Boys U16 to register a live rating of 2503.

Sample computation:

Fr  19 Sep 93 to  19 Sep 2007 =  14yrs

Fr 19 Sep 2007 to 19 Aug 2008 =  11months

(19 Aug 08 to 31 Aug 08) 12 days +  (1 Sep 08 to 18 Sep 08) 18 days = 30 days


a.  Birthdate
b. FIDE July 2008 rating
c.  Rating gained in 3-Tournament (2008) a +14.8
d.  Rating points gained in R1 to R4  (+8.2)  at the European Youth Chess Championship 2008 – Boys U16
e.   Timetable @ European Youth Chess Championship 2008 – Boys U16

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Yaroslav Zherebukh

4.   Yaroslav Zherebukh (born: July 14, 1993) who earlier in  14 August 2008 had achieved his 3rd & final GM norm at Transcarparthian Cup-2008 in Mukachevo had to work on his rating to reach the 2500(minimum), a requirement for a GM title, which he achieved on October 2, 2008 at “Podillya-2008”-Khmelnitsky  in round-9 by submitting a ‘Live Rating’ of 2505.6 at age 15yrs-2mos-18days.

Chess games of Yaroslav Zherebukh
b. R9 (2 Oct 2008) Podillya-2008.  Against Zakhartsov, Viacheslav V.
c. FIDE Individual Calculation  “Podillya-2008”:

Sample computation:

A. Zherebukh, Yaroslav  2008-Oct FIDE rating =  2474
B.  Individual calculation for January 2009  FIDE rating
B1. 4th E.Geller Memorial            Odessa                UKR (2008-09-08)  +14.2
B2. “Podillya-2008” Khmelnitsky,UKR  (27Sep – 2 Oct)  [(R1-R9): 0+4.5+1+1.6+4.2-0.5-0.1+6.7] = +17.4
Note: missing is R2 opponent whose results was excluded by FIDE.
Sub-Total (14.2+17.4) = +31.6    (Individual Calculation for January 2009)

Total (A+B) = 2474+31.6= 2505.6  (Live Rating on October 2, 2008).

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Arkadij Naiditsch

5.  Arkadij Naiditsch (born October 25, 1985) and according to some limited references was awarded a Grandmaster title in April 2001 just a few days younger than the benchmark age of Robert James Fischer who gained his GM title at age 15yrs-6mos-1day.

Additional research by chessaccount on Naiditsch Individual Calculations for July 2001 at  resulted to only one tournament he participated for the month of April 2001 and that was at Lviv’s Spring 2, Ukraine where he finished 1st place and scored 8.5/10 points (more than enough to complete his GM norms requirement). He also had gained a +24.0 FIDE rating points to bring his ‘Live Rating’ at 2515.8 (the first time he breached the 2500 barrier).  Lviv’s Spring 2 was conducted on 11-21 April 2001.  If the last round (R10) was on 21 April 2001 then his age would be 15yrs-5mos-27days.  The other possibility was he qualified for the GM title on 20 April 2001 (R9) and that makes him 1-day younger.  Regardless he  scored 7.5, 8.0 or 8.5 points in 9-round according to FIDE Title Regulations he gets the norm. For sure, he too had breached the 2500 mark in R9. Chessaccount will update the actual age as additional data/facts are made available but for now it’s  15yrs-5mos-27days.  

Sample computation:

25 Oct 1985 to  21 April  2001

Yrs: (25 Oct 1985 tp 25 Oct 2000) =  15yrs
Months: (25 Oct 2000 to 25 March 2001):  5mos
Days =  6 (25-31 Mar 2001) +   21 (21 Apr 2001) = 27 Days

A. FIDE rating April 2001:   2487

B. Individual Calculations July 2001
-7.8    Oberliga NRW Gr.2
+3.8   17th Intl Open
+8.8    17 Chess Org.Fest.Open
+24   Lviv’s Spring 2

Live rating (21 April 2001): A+B = 2487+28.8 =  2515.8


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Read also:
World’s Youngest To Attain GM, 2600, 2700, 2800 and WC
Wei Yi The World’s Youngest Grandmaster at 13yrs-8mos-24days
Wesley So Officially Breach the 2700 mark


Addnl references:

1. Wei Yi has become the youngest GM in the world:
2. Wei Yi youngest GM in the world at 13 years, 8 months, 24 days
3. List of youngest grandmasters


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