Leon Mendonca becomes India’s 67th chess Grandmaster

Leon Mendonca on Thursday became India’s 67th Grandmaster (GM), achieving his third GM in three months. Mendonca, 14, was stranded in Europe with his father in March due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, played 16 tournaments in three months, this improving his Elo rating by 140 points.

The All India Chess Federation (AICF) acknowledged the development. Leon is the second Indian to become GM this year after G. Akash.

He achieved his first GM norm at the Rigo Chess GM Round Robin in October while the second came at the first Saturday in Budapest in November. His final GM norm came at the Vergani Cup in Italy that ended on December 30.

“A lot of people have been responsible for me reaching here. I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart. The Almighty for his countless blessings, my parents and sister,” Leon told Chessbase.in