What player attained the GM title in the shortest amount of time, beginning from their entry into organized (rated) chess, to the award of the title (either via attaining norms, or by direct award)? I would imagine that this player would probably also be in contention for "youngest to attain GM title", but I know this doesn't necessarily have to be the case.

(For purposes of this question, when I refer to "organized chess", I generally mean competition in an event rated and sanctioned by FIDE, or sanctioned by a national sanctioning body recognized by FIDE (whether that play is rated by FIDE or not)).

  • why don't you just ask instead like IM to GM or something?
    – BCLC
    Aug 8, 2021 at 16:34

3 Answers 3


0 days.

There are 28 players who achieved the grandmaster title immediately:

 1            Fischer, Robert James                  
 2            Spassky, Boris V.                      
 3            Korchnoi, Viktor                        
 4            Larsen, Bent                           
 5            Petrosian, Tigran                      
 5=           Polugaevsky, Lev                        
 7            Portisch, Lajos                              
 7=         Botvinnik, Mikhail                      
 9            Smyslov, Vassily                       
 9=           Tal, Mikhail N.                         
11            Geller, Efim P.                        
11=           Keres, Paul                            
13            Hort, Vlastimil                         
13=           Stein, Leonid                           
15            Taimanov, Mark E.                       
15=           Gligoric, Svetozar
17            Huebner, Robert                        
17=           Bronstein, David I.                     
19            Gipslis, Aivars                         
20            Krogius, Nikolai V.                     
21            Panno, Oscar
22            Uhlmann, Wolfgang                     
23           Olafsson, Fridrik                                     
24            Balashov, Yuri S.                    
25            Savon, Vladimir A.                     
26            Vasiukov, Evgeni                       
27           Tukmakov, Vladimir B.                    
28           Boleslavsky, Isaak  

When FIDE first published their rating lists, these were the grandmasters who were deemed such by FIDE. Therefore, it took them zero days to become a grandmaster.

(Source: http://www.olimpbase.org/Elo/Elo196900e.html)

  • 3
    Not quite what I'm looking for, and not even really technically correct, because all of these players had been playing "organized" chess for a long time prior to the award of the GM title by FIDE. The question is more oriented towards players who achieved the GM title most quickly in the current "usual" way (via norms, or direct award due to their result in one of the tournaments noted in the FIDE title regulations), rather than players who were decreed to be GMs by FIDE before the later title regulations.
    – patbarron
    Aug 6, 2021 at 4:17
  • 3
    @patbarron Admittedly, it, is a clever loophole! Aug 7, 2021 at 21:55
  • @patbarron why don't you edit the question for the later title regulations? nevertheless/nonetheless/regardless(/grammar?) i will upvote for the clever loophole. Edit: never mind. i see you have edited
    – BCLC
    Aug 8, 2021 at 16:29

While various chess rating systems have been used since the 20th century, with the most impactful being the FIDE rating established in 1970, it seems to have no consequences for this question. This is because the list of "quickest to become GM" will indeed closely, if not entirely, coincide with the list of "youngest GMs".

One reason is that with people in the past it is often quite hard to ascertain when they started playing organized chess. Another reason is that requirements for the title of Grandmaster are arguably getting less hard over time and the practice of establishing GM tournaments with the aim of facilitating fulfillment of GM norms is not entirely uncommon.

Therefore the list of youngest grandmasters and list of grandmasters under 15 is the place to go, with maybe even Fischer in the "pre-GM-norm-hunt" era being among the candidates for primacy; nowadays children prodigies play competitive chess since as early as 7 or 8. Fischer joined the Manhattan Chess Club at the age of 12, although he played at least children's tournaments since 1952.

  • We already dismissed this in the last answer but it seems to have been deleted (?) It's very clear what the asker meant by "organized (rated) chess": 'ignoring all players before the age of FIDE ratings as ineligible, who is the player with the shortest time interval between first FIDE rating and being awarded the GM title'. There is no reason this should be Abhimanyu Mishra. To whit, if his first FIDE rating was even a few months before Karjakin's, he would have a longer interval than Karjakin. Aug 7, 2021 at 13:01
  • Wait, what? Granted, the answer took me too long and I did not recheck the question for edits. But who is "we" and what did you dismiss? Who is talking about Mishra?
    – comodoro
    Aug 7, 2021 at 17:26
  • Sorry for the ambiguity - there was an answer before yours already that claimed the list should correlate exactly with that of the youngest GMs (the youngest being Mishra). There was a comment there that explained this is not necessarily the case (as I did again here). Since then that answer seems to be deleted Aug 7, 2021 at 18:15
  • 1
    @MobeusZoom To be specific I had commented: " "Therein lies the rub; it does not have to be the about the youngest person to achieve. Say the 12 year old boy took 6 years to do it. Now suppose a 30 year old man came along and did it 2 years. Thus, that 30 year old man holds the record asked of in the question. That is the fault in your answer." Aug 7, 2021 at 21:55
  • 1
    @MobeusZoom Oh, I see. The answer explains that this probably is the case, and why. Of course you cannot blindly take the youngest one, as the last paragraph mentioning Fischer implies. As this was not proven incorrect, the downvotes seem strange to me.
    – comodoro
    Aug 8, 2021 at 10:40

The youngest GM in history is Abimanyu Mishra at roughly 12 years of age. If we are counting age here is is the person. If there were not COVID there would have been OTB games and an even more likely chance to get a norm faster. He got his final two in the space of a couple of months.

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