Indian-origin Boy Ashwath Kaushik, 8, Becomes Youngest to Beat Grandmaster

Ashwath Kaushik, who is eight years, six months, and eleven days old, made history on Sunday by becoming the Youngest Player ever to beat a chess Grandmaster in a classical tournament game.
Indian-origin Boy Ashwath Kaushik, 8, Becomes Youngest to Beat Grandmaster
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Eight-year-old Ashwath Kaushik, an Indian-origin boy who is residing in Singapore, has scripted history by becoming the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster in a classical chess tournament. Ashwath defeated seasoned Polish grandmaster Jacek Stopa during the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open in Switzerland, a competition that draws participants from around the globe.

This achievement not only showcases Ashwath's prodigious talent but also breaks the record previously set by another young chess enthusiast, Leonid Ivanovic from Serbia, who had established the record a month earlier by defeating grandmaster Milko Popchev. It's noteworthy that Ivanovic, too, was eight years old at the time but was born five months before Ashwath.

WHO IS ASHWATH KAUSHIK?

Ashwath Kaushik's journey in chess began at the tender age of four, learning the game's intricacies and honing his skills. By 2022, he had already claimed the title of World Under-Eight Rapid Champion, demonstrating his exceptional prowess and potential in the sport. His victory over Grandmaster Stopa was not just a win but a testament to his resilience and strategic acumen. Despite facing a challenging position during the game, Ashwath managed to turn the tables and secure a win, a moment he described as "exciting and amazing" in an interview with Chess.com.

The young champion's father, Kaushik Sriram, expressed astonishment and pride at his son's achievements, highlighting the lack of a sports tradition within their family and describing every day as a "discovery" in their journey. Ashwath's natural affinity for chess, nurtured through playful sessions with his grandparents, has indeed taken him on an extraordinary path, culminating in this groundbreaking achievement.

"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," Kaushik, an Indian citizen who moved to Singapore with his family seven years ago, told the Star.

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Indian-origin Boy Ashwath Kaushik, 8, Becomes Youngest to Beat Grandmaster

Finishing 12th at the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open after his victory against Stopa, Ashwath Kaushik has not only etched his name in the annals of chess history but has also inspired countless young aspirants around the world. His story is a vivid reminder of the boundless potential that lies within youthful passion and dedication, setting a new benchmark for aspiring chess players globally.

Source: India Today

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