At 13 years, 10 months and 27 days, Sam Sevian became the youngest grandmaster in U.S. chess history.
Only four players have become grandmasters earlier — the most notable being the 24-year-old Norwegian world champion Magnus Carlsen, who was six months younger when he gained the title.
Such things do not happen easily.
Home-schooled, the Southbridge, Mass., teenager spends as much as nine hours a day studying the game.
His father, Armen, a scientist, encourages his son’s pursuit but wonders about a future in the brutally competitive arena of grandmaster chess, according to Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe.
Not a do-it-aloner like Bobby Fischer, Sam is an Internet kid who uses the Net and Skype for long-distance play and coaching.
What are the chances today of a gifted young player becoming the best in the world?
The odds are “staggering,” said Garry Kasparov, Sam’s occasional mentor — although the former world champion attests unequivocally to the teenager’s exceptional talent.
Sam recently played in the Tata Steel Grandmaster B tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands.
After painful losses in his first two games, he showed his mettle by rebounding with 6 wins, 3 draws, and a single loss in his last 10.
His progress will be fun to watch as he faces increasingly difficult competition.