Ashwath Kaushik is the youngest to defeat a chess grandmaster (Credit: Singapore Chess Federation/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

An 8-year-old has become the youngest player ever to defeat a grandmaster (GM) in classical chess. For those unfamiliar with the term, GM is the highest title a chess player can attain. Ashwath Kaushik achieved the incredible feat on February 18, 2024, after beating 37-year-old Jacek Stopa in round four of an international chess competition in Switzerland. Kaushik went on to finish in 12th place, but his victory over Stopa was the talk of the tournament.

Leonid Ivanovic, who beat 59-year-old GM Milko Popchev at the Belgrade Open in January 2024, previously held the record. At eight years and 11 months, the Serbian youngster was the first player under the age of nine to defeat a grandmaster in classical chess. Kaushik is five months younger than Ivanovic.

"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 told

Kaushik practices his chess skills daily (Credit: Singapore Chess Federation/ CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Kaushik was born in India but moved to Singapore when he was just over a year old. He began learning chess at age four and was soon outplaying his family and friends. Realizing Kaushik may have a natural talent for the game, his parents decided to get him a chess coach. The young boy's first significant win came two years later at age six. He won triple gold in the Under-8 category at the 2022 Eastern Asia Youth Championships. Later that year, Kaushik also won the World Under-8 Rapid Championship tournament.

The chess prodigy spends about two hours on the game every day after school. His weekends are dedicated to learning from experts at the Singapore Chess Federation's National Training Program or competing in tournaments. Kaushik's dream is to attain the title of world champion in chess.