Ashwath Kaushik, an eight-year-old Indian, became the youngest person to beat a grandmaster in chess. Learn more about Ashwath

Ashwath Kaushik, eight, defeated Jacek Stopa at the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open in Switzerland, making history as the youngest player to beat a grandmaster. The Singaporean citizen, who was born in India, picked up the sport at the age of four and won the World Under-Eight Rapid Championship in 2022. He had gained notoriety in the same year when he won three titles in the chess variants at the Under-8 Eastern Asia Youth Championship: classic, fast, and blitz.

He said, “I felt proud of my game and how I played, especially since I was worse at one point but was able to recover.”

The Indian national ultimately lost against International Master Harry Grieve and placed 12th overall. As of right now, his FIDE rating is 37,338. His biography shows that throughout the last year, he has had 31 victories, 12 defeats, and 5 draws.

Since our family don’t really have a sporting tradition, it seems strange. Every day is a fresh discovery, and sometimes we make mistakes while trying to find the best route for him. Playing with his grandparents, he picked it up on his own “his father Kaushik Sriram told Reuters.

During his encounter, Ashwath beat the record that Serbian chess player Leonid Ivanovic had just achieved. In January, the eight-year-old winner had defeated Grandmaster Milko Popchev. But he is five months Ashwath’s senior.

“To get to the opposite side of the board, he needs a booster cushion.To put it mildly, we weren’t all that shocked—the kid has a loving family and works like a dog. Many things need to come together: the youngster is committed, his father is very supportive, the school offers flexibility, and is naturally gifted. It remains to be seen how far he can go since as the youngster grows older, his interests can change. Nevertheless, we have optimism,” said Kevin Goh, CEO of the Singapore Chess Federation.

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