NRI Chess Prodigy becomes Youngest Player to beat Grandmaster

Eight-year-old Ashwath Kaushik has made history by becoming the youngest chess player to beat a Grandmaster.

NRI Chess Prodigy becomes Youngest Player to beat Grandmaster f

"It's a very exciting feeling and amazing"

Ashwath Kaushik, an eight-year-old Indian boy living in Singapore, made history by becoming the youngest person ever to defeat a Grandmaster in a classical chess tournament.

Ashwath defeated 37-year-old Polish Grandmaster Jacek Stopa in round four of the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open in Switzerland.

The previous record was only set in January 2024 by Leonid Ivanovic.

Also aged eight, Serbian national Leonid defeated Milko Popchev and became the first player under the age of nine to beat a Grandmaster in a classical game.

Ashwath is five months younger than Leonid.

After the historical win, the chess prodigy said:

“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.”

His father Kaushik Sriram expressed pride in his son’s achievements, highlighting a lack of sports tradition within their family.

He said: “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.

“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.”

The family moved to Singapore approximately seven years ago.

Ashwath’s chess journey began at the age of four, learning the game and its intricacies by playing with his grandparents.

Reportedly practising around seven hours a day, Ashwath quickly became a talented chess player.

By 2022, he already was the World Under-Eight Rapid Champion, demonstrating his exceptional prowess and potential in the sport.

At the Burgdorfer Stadthaus Open, Ashwath won his first three games against Jacek.

However, he lost his next game to Britain’s Harry Grieve, who won the 2022 British chess championship.

Ashwath finished 12th overall in the tournament.

Nevertheless, his mother Rohini Ramachandran said she was pleased with the historic win.

She said: “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 definitely do some celebration when we’re back home with the whole family.”

Not only has Ashwath etched his name into chess history but he has also inspired young players around the world. reported that the competitive chess world “has recently been witnessing a surge in children scoring extraordinary results at an even earlier age, perhaps propelled by the pandemic and a rating system lagging behind in keeping pace with their rise in strength”.

Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".

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