SAINT LOUIS (November 24, 2014) – A 13-year-old has set a new low for chess’ highest achievement.
On Saturday evening at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Boston seventh-grader Sam Sevian completed the final requirement necessary to earn the title of Grandmaster, the highest title a chess player can attain. There are just over 1,450 Grandmasters around the world, 83 of them representing the U.S. Chess Federation.
The achievement sets a new record for the youngest American Grandmaster in history, dropping the bar to 13 years, 10 months and 27 days. The record was once held by American legend Bobby Fischer, and shattered the previous record of 14 years, 11 months and 16 days set by Webster University student Ray Robson. Sevian is the sixth-youngest Grandmaster in world history.
Per the requirements of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, Sevian had already completed his three “norms” — or, superior performances in high-level tournaments — and needed only to crest a strength rating of 2500 to earn the Grandmaster title. Sevian arrived in St. Louis last Friday just 16 points shy of the mark, then won his first four games of the CCSCSL Invitational — including a drama-filled affair with International Master Andrei Gorovets on Saturday night as his final step. Sevian will hold the internationally recognized title for life.
Sevian, now the world’s first Grandmaster born in this millennium, has been a long-watched prodigy already holding records as the fastest American to chess’ other two elite titles: National and International Master. He became a World Champion for boys under the age of 12 at the World Youth Chess Championship in 2012, and is currently the No. 1 player in the world under age 14.
In 2012, Sevian was selected by the Kasparov Chess Foundation in a partnership with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis to develop American chess prodigies from around the nation. The program, called Young Stars – Team USA, was designed to offer extraordinarily talented children the opportunity to maximize their potential and achieve the highest level in chess. The Young Stars program includes several annual training sessions with former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov.
About the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis
The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to making chess an important part of our community. In addition to providing a forum for the community to play tournaments and casual games, the club also offers chess improvement classes, beginner lessons and special lectures.
Recognizing the cognitive and behavioral benefits of chess, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center is committed to supporting those chess programs that already exist in area schools while encouraging the development of new in-school and after-school programs. For more information, visit www.saintlouischessclub.org.
About the Kasparov Chess Foundation
Founded by World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov, KFC’s mission is to bring the many educational benefits of chess to children throughout the United States by providing enrichment programs and a complete chess curriculum. The Foundation promotes the study of chess as a cognitive learning tool in curricular classes and after-school programs for elementary, middle and high schools, both in the public and private school sectors. The not-for-profit educational organization also organizes tournaments and competitions on a local and national basis. For more information, please visit: http://www.kasparovchessfoundation.org.