Sevian Sets New Record as Youngest-Ever American Grandmaster

Sam Sevian became the record-setting, youngest-ever American Grandmaster, a title once held by Bobby Fischer, during the CCSCSL Invitational on Saturday Night.

The 13-year-old Sam Sevian -- or, for history’s sake: 13 years, 10 months and 27 days-old Sam Sevian -- just dropped the bar on one of America’s highest records.

On Saturday night at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, Sevian toppled International Master Andrei Gorovets in the fourth round of the Club’s invitational norm event -- for a win that proved far less-important than the moment. The rating boost he received from the victory, his fourth-consecutive win of the event, pushed Sevian past a FIDE 2500 rating, notching the last requirement needed to achieve chess’ most-elite title.

Sevian set the new record for the youngest American Grandmaster in history, besting the record previously set by Webster University star Ray Robson by nearly a full year. Sevian had already achieved all of his necessary Grandmaster norms, his third coming at the Washington International earlier this year, and needed only for his rating to crest FIDE’s necessary watermark to earn the elite title. The completion of all requirements immediately dubbed Sevian as “GM-elect,” with the official title to be approved at the next FIDE Congress.

Setting a special footnote to the moment was the presence of GM Hikaru Nakamura, also at the CCSCSL for a headlining match against World No. 4 GM Levon Aronian. Nakamura was a previous holder of the record Sevian now owns, lifting it from the legendary Bobby Fischer by three months.