Mumbai: India’s Ashwath Kaushik scripted history by winning the gold medal in the Open Under-8 category of the World Youth Rapid Chess in Greece recently.
This six-year-old kid — being coached at SMCA and experienced European coaches — he beat top seeds Modith Aaroh Mutyalapati (ELO 1598) from Canada in the third round and Raghav Pathak ( ELO 1355) from the Netherlands enroute to his victory.
The seventh seed scored an incredible 8.5 points out of a possible 9 and eventually beat 8 of the top 12 finishers.
Ashwath’s coach, FIDE Master Balaji Guttula of SMCA, credited his success to his sharp memory. “Ashwath is capable of recalling the entire game of 30-plus moves he plays in any tournament,” Balaji said. “With age on his side, this child can make much bigger and hopefully can make it to the club of youngest Grandmasters,” Balaji added.
His mother Rohini was also elated at her son’s achievement. “Ashwath loves 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 next in the Indian Nationals Schools in Bhubaneswar as well as some open tournaments later this year,” Rohini said.
The joint secretary of the Mumbai District Chess Association, Nagesh Guttula also hailed Ashwath’s big win. “A few days ago it was Praggnanandhaa and now it’s Ashwath Kaushik. Indians continue to dominate the chess world with their performances providing inspiration for young chess players of our country,” he said.
The World Cadets & Youth Championships 2022 for Rapid and Blitz were held in Rhodes, Greece, between May 1 and 3. A total of 331 players took part from 40 countries.