Who is Ashwath Kaushik? 8 year old chess prodigy of Indian origin youngest to defeat a Grandmaster

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Ashwath Kaushik

Indian-origin Chess prodigy Ashwath Kaushik, at just eight years old, has garnered attention following his victory over Polish grandmaster Jacek Stopa.

Ashwath Kaushik

ASHWATH HAS BECOME THE YOUNGEST TO DEFEAT A GRANDMASTER

With this remarkable victory, the young prodigy has become the youngest chess player to defeat a grandmaster in the classical version of the game. He exceeds the record of Leonid Ivanovic, an eight year old Serbian with similarly bright potential, who defeated a grandmaster in January 2024 to set his record, becoming the first eight year old to do so. However, Ashwath is younger than the Serbian at the time of setting the record, by a difference of five months.

In the recent tournament taking place in Switzerland, where his victory over Stepa attracted headlines, the young Indian finished 12th. He was seeded 59th amongst 127 participants.

Speaking to Chess.com, he seemed deservingly proud of his remarkable achievement: “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.”

HE FIRST GAINED RECOGNITION IN 2022 WHEN HE BECAME THE WORLD UNDER-8 RAPID CHAMPION

Hailing from India, Ashwath, along with his family, has established residence in Singapore for the past six years. He garnered some recognition at the tender age of six, having secured a triple gold medal sweep in the Under-8 category of the Eastern Asian Youth Championship held in 2022.

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Driven by a lack of international events in Singapore, Ashwath actively participated in tournaments across various continents throughout that year. A defining moment came with his remarkable achievement of becoming the World Under-8 Rapid Champion in 2022, demonstrating his exceptional abilities despite being two years younger than the competition. This victory also served as a pivotal catalyst for his father’s recognition of Ashwath’s immense potential.

His father recounts that Ashwath grasped the intricacies of chess through playful interactions with his grandparents, emphasizing that neither he nor his wife possess expertise in the game themselves. He expresses a blend of exhilaration and mild astonishment as he witnesses his son’s remarkable progress.

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