International Master Akshat Chandra started learning chess at the age of 9 ½, during a visit to India - a relatively late start compared to most leading chess players who learn the game at the age of 5 or 6. When his family relocated there for nearly four years, Akshat was unable to play his favorite sports of basketball and football, so chess filled the competitive void.
In January 2010, Akshat received a starting FIDE rating of 1548 and, in just four years and ten months, improved his FIDE rating to 2490. His accelerated progress from such a late start is believed to be the largest and quickest rating increase in the world.
Akshat is the highest ranked junior rapid chess player in the country, and is among the leading junior blitz players in both online and on-board chess. He is the 2015 K-12 US National Champion in both classic and blitz forms of the game. In 2013, Akshat won the K-9 Super Nationals Championship, the Under-18 North American Youth Championship, and achieved his international master title as well.
Away from the board, Akshat is an avid writer and the youngest Chessbase author. He doesn’t believe in doing anything half-heartedly. In fact, as a fan of the New York Jets, his outlook echoes the words of former quarterback Joe Namath: “If you’re not gonna go all the way, why go at all?” He indeed has come a long way. Winning the 2015 United States Junior Closed tournament, Chandra earned his place among this year’s field, and his shot to call himself the U.S. Champion.