India’s six-year-old chess player Ashwath Kaushik made history by winning gold in the Open Under-8 category in the World Cadets and Youth Championships 2022 for Rapid and Blitz in Rhodes, Greece from May 1-3.
More than 330 players from 40 countries participated in the tournament, which was the first big event on the FIDE calendar this year.
En route to victory, Kaushik beat top seeds Modith Aaroh Mutyalapati (ELO 1598) from Canada in Round 3 and Raghav Pathak (ELO 1355) from the Netherlands.
Starting as the seventh seed, he worked his way up to finish the campaign with 8.5 points out of a possible nine, eventually beating eight of the top 12 finishers.
Ashwath’s coach, FIDE master Balaji Guttula of SMCA, credited his performance to his sharp memory. Ashwath can recall the entire game of 30-plus moves he plays in any tournament, said Balaji.
His mother Rohini said that besides chess, Kaushik likes building intricate lego car models, cycling and watching Formula 1.
He aims to become a Grandmaster by playing attacking chess like his role model Mikhail Tal and will be playing in the Indian school nationals next.