Henrique Costa Mecking (23 January 1952-), also known as Mequinho, Brazilian chess Grandmaster was at the top of his career at the 1970s and is one of the strongest players in Brazil even today. He was considered to be a child prodigy and was compared to such players as Bobby Fischer, however, he did not receive the International Grandmaster title until 1972.
He won the Petropolis Interzonal in 1973 and the Manila Interzonal in 1976. According to the Chessmetrics historical rating system, he achieved his best Elo rating in July 1976 when he was ranked 4th in the world with 2740. He is the first Brazilian chess player who became a Grandmaster. Despite that he participated in just a few tournaments, he won the national championship at the age of 13 for the first time.
He achieved victory in Vrsac in 1971 and tied for the third place with Robert Byrne in Hastings in 1971-72 (behind the two winners, Anatoly Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi). In 1975, he tied for the second place twice behind Ljubomir Ljubojevic, first with Ulf Andersson and Mikhail Tal in Las Palmas then with Lev Polugaevsky, Bernt Larsen and Helmut Pfleger in Manila.
He was a participant of the world championship tournament series in the middle of the 1970s when a serious disease interrupted his career.
He represented Brazil four times in Chess Olympiads: in 1968, 1974, 2002 and 2004.
He frequently attended the FIDE events because of the World Championships. After his unsuccessful attempts in the Sousse Interzonal in 1967 and in the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal in 1970, he triumphed in 1973 when he won the Petropolis Interzonal final (beating such opponents like Paul Keres, David Bronstein, etc.) Then he advanced to the Candidates Quarterfinal but was defeated by Viktor Korchnoi. After that, he was the best chess player born in the west until 1979 (after Bobby Fischer retired from professional chess in 1972).
He won the Manila Interzonal in 1976 so he could qualify among the Candidates again, however, he failed again in the Quarterfinal against Polugaevsky. His disease (myasthenia gravis) worsened so he was forced to withdraw from the Rio de Janeiro Interzonal Tournament in 1979 after he drew with Borislav Ivkov in the first round. His disease became so severe that many people thought Mecking would die soon. Fortunately, he survived but could not play in the 1980s. Then he recovered successfully and had his career comeback in 1991, when he played a match with Predrag Nikolic. He encountered Yasser Seirawan in 1992 then he periodically participated in tournaments, though he had no chance to obtain the World Champion title.
Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org; http://www.chessmetrics.com