The joy of chess: ten-year-old beats IM

by ChessBase
7/9/2013 – That was the title of a story in a number of (non-chess) news sources this week. They pointed to a video showing the sheer joy of a boy, who has just turned ten, realizing that he is going to win a game against an IM – and proceeds to do so with enthusiasm and determination. The blitz game took place two and a half years ago, but deserves to be enjoyed by anyone who does not know it. Must watch!

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Ten-year-old's win against an International Master

Below is the video, which shows a game that took place between the young lad and IM Greg Shahade during a US Chess School session in LA. Normally, Greg invites 8-12 students of approximately the same age to these sessions, and this time the youngest participant was a nine-year-old who turned ten during the camp. During the break Greg played  an impromptu blitz game against the boy, whom we shall identify later in this report. Do yourself a favour and watch the video before you read on.

This video was uploaded on Dec 28, 2010 and viewed over 500,000 times. We followed the moves and give them to you on our Javascript board:

[Event "Informal blitz US Schools"] [Site "Kiev UKR"] [Date "2010.12.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Shahade, Greg"] [Black "Sevian, Samuel"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C01"] [PlyCount "110"] [EventDate "2013.06.15"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "UKR"] [EventCategory "17"] 1. c4 c6 2. e4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. exd5 exd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bd3? Nxc3 {Sam: "I'm winning!!"} 9. bxc3 Bxc3+ 10. Bd2 Qe7+ 11. Be2 Bxa1 12. Qxa1 Bg4 13. d5 O-O {Touch move is not implemented, since Sam first grabs the bishop on g4 but then changes his mind and castles.} 14. Be3 Qb4+ 15. Kf1 cxd5 16. h3 Bxf3 17. Bxf3 Nc6 18. g3 d4 19. Bf4 d3 20. Kg2 Rfe8 21. Rd1 Rad8 { Samuel: "Classic!"} 22. Be3 Ne5 {"What is the probability you are going to win the game?" somebody asks. "A hundred percent," replies Samuel.} 23. Rb1 Qd6 24. Bxb7 Nc4 25. Bf4 Qd4 26. Qxd4 Rxd4 27. Ba6 d2 {Here Greg picks up the black knight to capture it with his bishop, but then replaces it and plays} 28. Rd1 Red8 29. Be3 Nxe3+ 30. fxe3 Ra4 31. Be2 Rxa2 {"I'm killing him!"} 32. Kf2 a5 33. e4 a4 34. Ke3 Ra3+ 35. Kf2 Rc3 36. Ra1 a3 37. Ra2 d1=Q 38. Bxd1 Rxd1 39. Ke2 Rdc1 40. Kd2 f6 41. g4 Kf7 42. h4 g6 43. g5 fxg5 44. hxg5 Ke6 45. e5 Kxe5 46. Ke2 R3c2+ 47. Rxc2 Rxc2+ 48. Kd3 Rh2 49. Kc3 a2 50. Kd3 a1=Q 51. Kc4 Rh4+ 52. Kd3 Qd4+ 53. Kc2 Rh2+ 54. Kb3 Rb2+ 55. Ka3 Qb4# 0-1

The two year old video resurfaced this week in a number of non-chess news and discussion forums:

We found it on Digg (screen shot above), and there was a huge thread on Reddit: 10-year-old beats international chess master in a blitz game... while drinking 7up. So who, you ask, is the boy who on or around his tenth birthday was able to demolish an International Master and chess trainer (who incidentally shows great sporting spirit in playing the game all the way to mate).

Samuel Sevian, born on December 26 2000, is an American chess prodigy of Armenian descent. He is from Corning, New York. On December 5, 2010, he became the youngest National Master in USCF history with a rating of 2206 at the age of 9 years, 11 months and 9 days. On December 19, 2010 Sevian broke yet another major record by becoming youngest ever National Master in the US chess history. In 2012 he completed all International Master Norms winning two Metropolitan IM and one GM Norm tournament held in Los Angeles. In January 2010 with a FIDE rating of 2119, he became the highest rated chess player in the world for his age.

Samuel became the World Champion in the U12 category in Maribor Slovenia, Nov 7-19 2012. His pre-tournament (FIDE) rating at the World Youth was 2347, almost 100 points above his nearest competitor. In May 2013 he was invited to play US Championship in Saint Louis as the youngest ever participant in the championship history. With the field consisted of 24 players Sevian was able to score 4/9, which placed him in the shared 15-th place ahead of several prominent grandmasters. Month later, in June, Samuel played in the the prestigious US Junior under 20 Championship, where he came second only half a point behind the eventual winner, he was again the youngest in the field of competitors.

U12 gold medalist Samuel Sevian at the 2012 World Youth
Championship in Maribor, with Garry Kasparov backing him up

In December 2012 Samuel completed his final IM norm, narrowly missing the GM norm by half a point. He is now an IM-elect, still listed as an FM at FIDE, with a 2388 rating.

Visit Samuel Sevian's Blog and his web site

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register