5 months lucky, 8 years sharp! Who is Ashwath Kaushik, the youngest chess player to defeat a grandmaster?

Record-holder Leonid Ivanovic was found older to Ashwath by 5 months

Ashwath Kaushik Ashwath Kaushik playing chess | Twitter

Eight years, six months and 11 days. That's how old Ashwath Kaushik was when he made history on Sunday by becoming the youngest in history to beat a chess grandmaster. Enthusiasts of the game have started celebrating the birth of a new star.

It was 37-year-old Polish grandmaster Jacek Stopa who was defeated by the eight-year-old to break the unique record. As Stopa and Kaushik's game came to a close at the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open in Switzerland, the record of another eight-year-old got pushed to second spot. 

That's right. Till Sunday, the youngest player ever to taste victory over a grandmaster was another eight-year-old -- Leonid Ivanovic of Serbia. However, the Indian-born child was born five months after Ivanovic, permitting him to claim the record.  

Ashwath Kaushik announced his arrival by winning the triple gold in the Under-8 category of the Eastern Asian Youth Championship in 2022, aged 6, The Indian Express said in a report. Later that year, he also became the World Under-8 Rapid Champion --  two years shy of the age limit, the news report added.

Quoting Chess.com, IE added that the prodigy spends up to seven hours daily playing the board game. He routine also involves solving puzzles on his old chess program in thousands. 

Although born in India, Ashwath Kaushik has spent the last six years of his life in Singapore. His father Kaushik Sriram revealed that the boy learned to play the game at the age of four. His chess journey began by spending time before the chess board alongside his grandparents, the proud father said. 

"He picked it up on his own, playing with his grandparents... 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," Kaushik Sriram was quoted as saying.

"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," Ashwath told Chess.com after scripting history. 

He finished the tournament in 12th place after losing to International Master Harry Grieve. 


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