India welcomes its 67th chess grandmaster: Leon Mendonca

Friday, January 1, 2021

    Leon Luke Mendonca, a 14-year-old chess genius from Goa secured the title of ‘Grandmaster’ after winning the third and final norm at a chess tournament in Italy.

Mendonca won his first GM norm at the Rigo Chess GM Round Robin in October. His second win was in November at the 1st Saturday event in Budapest and his third and final norm was at the Vergani Cup in Italy. He came in second place with 6.5 points behind Ukraine’s Vitaliy Bernadskiy (7).

This achievement came as a positive response to the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions. Mendonca and his Father, while stranded in Europe since March 2020,  decided to take part in several tournaments. Mendonca played in 16 tournaments from March to December and improved his ELO rating from 2452 points to 2544 points. 

At the mere age of 14 years, nine months, and 17 days, Leon Mendonca became the 67th Chess Grandmaster from India and the second from Goa to achieve this feat. 

A Very Happy New Year to all our readers. 

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