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9-Year-Old Earns Chess Master Title

By Madeline Holler |

samuel sevian, chess master

Chess Master! And fourth-grader.

A 9-year-old boy from Santa Clara, Calif., has become the youngest chess master ever.

The United States Chess Federation named Samuel Sevian a chess master, at a competition in San Francisco earlier this month. There, he earned a score of 2,201 — one point higher than the needed to get the “national master” title. It takes 2,400 points to earn the “senior master” title, which he’ll probably do at some point.

Sevian beat out Nicholas Nip by 11 days for being the youngest person to earn the title. Before that, Hikaru Nakamura held the record for 10 years, after he earned the title when he was 10 years old.

Sevian has been playing chess since he was 5. He spends two hours a day studying chess in books and playing with his coach via Skype and also practicing with his father, who has earned the level of “expert.”

Awesome. The coach thing is kind of disappointing, though. It seems behind any astounding kid accomplishment, there’s a team of paid experts helping the little one along. But hey! Keeps him off the streets.


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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “9-Year-Old Earns Chess Master Title

  1. Ri-chan says:

    I wonder if he likes playing chess or if his “expert” father is just living vicariously through him…

  2. Emily says:

    Of course there’s a paid pro helping things along. Even Mozart started out as a student. Otherwise, natural talent would founder.

  3. [...] here: Samuel Sevian, 9, Youngest Chess Master | Strollerderby Filed Under: General Tagged With: became-the-youngest, california, earn-the-master, [...]

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