Santa Clara Chess Prodigy Joins Elite Program

On the Road to Beecoming an Internation Chess Master

By Aliyah Mohammed
|  Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012  |  Updated 7:28 AM PDT
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Santa Clara Chess Prodigy Joins Elite Program

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This is not the first major achievement for him, Samuel Sevian became the youngest-ever chess “master” in the United States in 2010.

A 11-year-old boy from Santa Clara has been accepted into an elite chess program for prodigies, which will allow him to stake his claim as chairman of the chessboard and one day become a member of the U.S. Olympiad Teams.

On Monday, Samuel Sevian heads to St. Louis to train with the “Young Stars-Team USA” founded by the Kasparaov Chess Foundation and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. He is one of seven hand-picked chess prodigies, ages nine to 15 to win a spot on this team and head for training camp from June 18-21.

World Chess Champion and KCF Chairman Garry Kasparov will personally coach the young players in the program at the Chess Club in St. Louis every summer and in New York City each winter.

This is not the first major achievement for Sevian,  the sixth-grader at Don Callejon, became the youngest-ever chess “master” in the United States in 2010 after a chess match in San Francisco at the age of 9 years, 11 months and 15 days.

The United States Chess Federation, governing body of competitive chess, gave him a rating of 2,201 after the Dec. 11 match. A rating of 2,200 qualifies a player as a "national master." Sevian was also the youngest person to reach the previous chess level of “expert” when he was 8.

“This inaugural group features some of the top young chess players in the country,” Chess Club Executive Director Tony Rich said. “By fostering their talent now, we’re hoping to position the United States as a future chess super power.”

International Chess Master and one of Sevian’s Chess coaches Andranik Matikozyan said Sevian’s joining the Young Stars team, “is a really big achievement, especially because as of April he is the number one rated player in the world under the age of 12 as ranked by the World Chess Federation.”

Sevian has achieved one “norm, a high level performance that is required to receive the title of international master, and will participate in another in July, he needs three to become an international master,” Matikozyan said.

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