A New Chess Prodigy: 8-Year-Old Ashwath Kaushik Makes History

In a recent event that has taken the chess world by storm, Ashwath Kaushik, an 8-year-old from Singapore, emerged victorious against Jacek Stopa, a 37-year-old grandmaster from Poland. The historic match took place at the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open competition in Switzerland.

Interestingly, the previous record was held by Leonid Ivanovic, an 8-year-old Serbian player. However, Kaushik, being five months younger, has now dethroned Ivanovic to become the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster in a classical tournament game.

8-year-old Ashwath Kaushik has become the youngest player to beat a grandmaster in a classical tournament game. Photo: Carleton Lim/Singapore Chess Federation.

Kaushik’s excitement was palpable as he shared, “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’s father revealed that his son began learning chess at the tender age of four through ChessKid. He added, “He picked it up on his own, playing with his grandparents,” highlighting that neither he nor his wife are chess players.

Watching his son’s journey unfold has been a thrilling yet surreal experience for Kaushik’s father. He confessed, “It’s surreal as there isn’t really any sports tradition in our families. Every day is a new discovery, and we sometimes stumble in search of the right pathway for him.”

He now joins a prestigious list of young talents who have beaten a grandmaster before the age of 10. Among them is GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov, now a chess superstar ranked 15th in the world, who was aged nine years and seven months when he scored his first win.

Another notable player on the list is that of the world’s youngest grandmaster ever, GM Abhimanyu Mishra, who beat GM James Tarjan when he was aged nine years and 10 months.

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