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.
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.
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.