Ashwath Kaushik,11 years old becomes the Youngest Player ever to beat a chess grandmaster

Kaushik, originally from India, has resided in Singapore for the last six years. His debut in the spotlight occurred when he clinched triple gold in the Under-8 division of the Eastern Asian Youth Championship in 2022 at the age of six.

Eight-year-old Ashwath Kaushik, originally from India and now residing in Singapore, astounded Polish chess grandmaster Jacek Stopa at the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open on Sunday. This achievement made him the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster in the classical version of the game.

The previous record belonged to Serbia’s Leonid Ivanovic, also eight years old but slightly older than Kaushik by several months. Ivanovic secured the record by defeating 60-year-old Bulgarian grandmaster Milko Popchev at the Belgrade Open just under a week prior.

As reported by Channel News Asia, representing Singapore, Kaushik outplayed Stopa, who, at 37 years old, is nearly five times his age.

“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, who is ranked world No. 37,338 on FIDE, said.

Kaushik ultimately finished the tournament in 12th place after losing against Harry Grieve and he is set to gain 84 rating points on the next list, as per Chess.com.

Kaushik, born in India, has resided in Singapore for the past six years. He gained widespread attention when, at the age of six, he clinched triple gold in the Under-8 category of the Eastern Asian Youth Championship in 2022. Additionally, during the same year, he became the World Under-8 Rapid Champion, achieving this feat while being two years below the age limit.

Singaporean grandmaster and CEO of the Singapore Chess Federation Kevin Goh lauded Ashwath’s feat on ‘X’, saying, “Dad is super supportive, the boy is dedicated, the school allows flexibility and of course, he has natural talent.

“Remains to be seen how far he can go as interests can change as the boy gets older. Still, we are hopeful.” Goh also joked that as he is only eight years old, Ashwath still “needs a booster cushion to reach the other side of the board”.

He also attributed Ashwath’s success to the “many other coaches and supporters” on his journey.

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