8-Year-Old Singapore Boy Of Indian Origin Beats 37-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster From Poland

8-Year-Old Singapore Boy Of Indian Origin Beats 37-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster From Poland

Chess has been, for decades, a sport in which Indians have excelled. A new prodigy appears to be Ashwath Kaushik, an Indian-origin boy from Singapore, aged 8 years, who beat 37-year-old Grandmaster Jacek Stopa of Poland, setting a new record for being the youngest winner against a GM in classical chess.

connectedtoindia.comUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 07:50 PM IST
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Ashwath Kaushik was precisely 8 years, 6 months, and 11 days old, as per the information available, when he beat GM Jacek Stopa in their game in the Burgdorfer Stadthaus-Open, held on February 16-18, 2024, in Switzerland.

Reacting to the win, a chess journalist commented on X: “8-year-olds are now beating grandmasters, here’s Ashwath shattering the record as the youngest ever. At some point soon I think we will see 10-year-olds achieving the GM title.”

The previous record for the feat now achieved by Ashwath had been held by Serbian youngster Leonid Ivanovic, who was 8 years, 11 months, and 7 days old when he defeated 59-year-old Bulgarian GM Milko Popchev.

While Ashwath lost his next game to 22-year-old English player Harry Grieve, his achievement is still tremendous and bolsters all his wins over the past few years.

According to a report in the Singapore publication The Straits Times, Ashwath — born to Rohini Ramachandran and Sriram Kaushik — is an Indian citizen whose family moved to Singapore seven years ago, and the young chess player represents Singapore internationally.

“It’s a very exciting feeling and amazing to be able to beat my first grandmaster on the board and it’s in classical [chess], so I feel very proud of myself,” said Ashwath, as quoted by The Straits Times.

The Singapore paper, which interviewed the family, reported that Ashwath played chess for about 2 hours five days a week, and 6-7 hours daily on weekends; liked Lego blocks, jigsaw puzzles, cycling; and enjoyed outings to Singapore Zoo or Universal Studios Singapore. All this activity, he said, was relaxing and “[it] helps your brain get better and smarter, because in chess you need a lot of thinking to find the best moves".

(The article is published under a mutual content partnership arrangement between The Free Press Journal and Connected To India)

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