Mendonca, who accomplished the feat at 14 years, 9 months, and 17 days, is the coastal state’s second GM.

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Mendonca, who accomplished the feat at 14 years, 9 months, and 17 days, is the coastal state’s second GM.

Goa’s 14-year-old Leon Mendonca, by winning the third and final level at a tournament in Italy, has become India’s 67th Chess Grandmaster.

Mendonca, who accomplished the feat at 14 years, 9 months, and 17 days, is the coastal state’s second GM.

At the Rigo Chess GM Round Robin in October, the player achieved his first GM level, while the second came in November at the first Saturday event in Budapest and the final one at the Vergani Cup in Italy.

He placed second in the Vergani Cup at Bassano del Grappa, 6.5 points behind Vitaliy Bernadskiyy of Ukraine (7 points).

In the wake of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown and travel limitations, Mendonca and his father Lyndon were stranded in Europe in March.

They saw an opportunity and participated in many tournaments with the aim of obtaining the title of GM. Mendonca played in 16 tournaments in the nine months from March to December and improved from an ELO ranking of 2452 points to 2544.

He was pleased to become a GM and thanked those who helped him through thick and thin, Mendonca said.

“Yeah. I am delighted to become a GM. It has come after a lot of hard work. I can’t thank several people including my parents, coach Vishu Prasanna, and sponsors for the success,” he said.

The Goa youngster took part in Microsense camp in Chennai at the end of 2019 when host of Indian players were trained by former world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand

After the second GM norm was achieved, his father had said, “It has been challenging to stay in Europe and for him to compete in events. We have been staying in Airbnb rooms. Also, it has been difficult to plan for tournaments due to uncertainty. But it has been a rewarding one though,” he said.

Player G for Chennai. Akash, who became the country’s 66th Grandmaster in July.

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