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8-year-old chess prodigy makes history by becoming the youngest ever to defeat a grandmaster

The 8-year-old Indian-born Singapore resident accomplished the unbelievable at a recent chess tournament in Switzerland.

8-year-old chess prodigy makes history by becoming the youngest ever to defeat a grandmaster
Cover Image Source: X (previously Twitter) | @kaushiksriram

While most 8-year-olds were busy playing with kids from their age group, this one was polishing his skills to create history. The boy indeed created history by defeating one of the chess grandmasters, 37-year-old Jacek Stopa, from Poland, at a chess tournament in Switzerland. He accomplished this astounding feat at the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open this month, per Ashwath Kaushik, who lives in Singapore but was born in India, became the youngest person to defeat a chess grandmaster and left people in awe.

Image Source: X | @kaushiksriram
Image Source: X | @kaushiksriram

Kaushik had almost missed the title of being the youngest person to win a chess tournament when Serbia's Leonid Ivanovic replaced the previous youngest player, Awonder Liang, to become the first ever player to defeat a grandmaster in a classic tournament at 8 years and 11 months old. But the title of the youngest chess prodigy was soon scooped away by Kaushik, who happens to be 4 months younger than Ivanovic. The title of being called a grandmaster is not earned easily by any chess player and only the best are crowned by the World Chess Federation.


As of now, about 2,100 players have earned the highest distinction in the world of chess championships. Kaushik also opened up about his monumental win. "It felt really exciting and amazing and I felt proud of my game and how I played, especially since I was worse at one point but managed to come back from that," Kaushik told the outlet. According to Kaushik's father, Sriram Kaushik, his son had picked up the rules of the complex game of intelligence and focus at the age of four and surprisingly enough, neither he nor his wife play chess. "He picked it up on his own, playing with his grandparents," the proud father told the outlet.

"It's surreal as there isn't any sports tradition in our families. Every day is a discovery and we sometimes stumble in search of the right pathway for him," he added. "We were all really happy, but he had to quickly refocus, so I don't think we had a lot of time to celebrate right after the game, but we'll do some celebration when we're back home with the whole family," Kaushik's mother, Rohini Ramachandran told The Star. The boy's father added that the child spends up to seven hours a day on chess and "solves long complex puzzles visually."


Kaushik might have tasted early success in chess tournaments and has participated in several global tournaments as well, but he doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon. "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 Kaushik, who had moved to Singapore with his family seven years ago and represented the same internationally.

Kaushik aims to become the next world champion and wants to obtain a chess player rating of 2000 as he inches closer to his goal. According to CNN, Kaushik has already made a name after winning several youth tournaments worldwide, notably becoming the World Under-8 Rapid champion in 2022. He is currently ranked World No. 37,338, as per FIDE Ratings and garnered attention in 2022 after emerging as a triple champion in the chess variations, that are classic, rapid and blitz—at the U-8 Eastern Asia Youth Championship.


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