Freddy has beaten a grandmaster

by Frederic Friedel
7/23/2021 – Frederick Gordon learnt chess at the age of six. After a week he started beating his parents, both PhDs in mathematics. Now, at the age of ten, Freddy has defeated a full-blown grandmaster, Bogdon Lalic, in a rapid chess game. But, the BBC reports, "the talented young Scottish player did not share his excitement with his school friends because he thought it would be boasting."

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The BBC writes:

Frederick Waldhausen Gordon is just 10 years old and has already defeated a chess grandmaster. But the talented young Scottish player did not share his excitement with his school friends because he thought it would be boasting.

Freddy started playing chess at the age of six – and within a week he was beating his parents, who both have PhDs in maths.

He joined the Edinburgh Chess Academy and started practising two hours a day after school and four hours a day at weekends. He watched the best players on YouTube and picked up tips from his chess teacher and a family friend.

Freddy became the under-10 British champion, one of Scotland's top graded juniors of all time, and is currently the country's top under-18 player.

And in March this year, he defeated grandmaster Bogdan Lalic on his way to winning an English Chess Federation Prix Rapid Event.

He faced adult opponents in his six matches, but said the 30-minute contest with the 57-year-old Croatian was the most exciting game.

Read the full BBC article here

We asked Freddy for some of his games, especially the one against Lalic, and he sent us the following:


Freddy with his sister Josephine | Photo Maya Waldhausen

Green initiative!

I contacted Freddy's parents in Scotland. His father Iain is Professor of Mathematics at the Hodge Institute & School of Mathematics, University of Edinburgh, and his mother Maja, who is German, also has a PhD in mathematics. Chatting with the boy for an hour on Skype was great fun. I gave him my Talent Test, which he solved in a short time (in his head, looking straight into the webcam). During our conversation I invited a friend to join:

Leon Mendonca, 15, has been stranded in Budapest for well over a year now. This young lad used the forced stay in Hungary to play in events and earn his full GM title. He spends his free time with very interesting cultural activities.

Leon confirm my impression of Freddy's extraordinary talent. In fact, the two made friends and Leon started training his younger colleague. Their sessions are conducted on Skype, once a week, whenever Leon has time (he is constantly playing in OTB tournaments in Budapest).

We wish Freddy Gordon every success in his very promising chess career.

Interview with Freddy Waldhausen Gordon

Recently Sagar Shah of ChessBase India conducted an interview with Freddy, who was staying with his grandparents in Scotland. Sagar analysed some games with him, and also ran some tests. A great impression of what a child prodigy in chess is like.

You gotta love the way this ten-year-old talks chess – and be enchanted by his Scottish accent.

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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