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A Chess Champ at Age 8

Ashwath Kaushik is the youngest person ever to defeat a chess grandmaster.

A young boy sits behind a chess board that has been set up for a game.

Carleton Lim/Singapore Chess Federation

Ashwath Kaushik says he hopes to become a world chess champion.

Like many 8-year-olds, Ashwath Kaushik likes bike riding, LEGO, and hanging out with his friends. He also likes chess—and he’s really good at it. On February 18, Ashwath became the youngest person ever to defeat a chess grandmaster.

In the game of chess, grandmasters are considered the very best. It’s not easy to defeat one. Ashwath’s victory opposite grandmaster Jacek Stopa, 37, took place at a chess tournament in Switzerland. Only one other 8-year-old had defeated a grandmaster before, and he was five months older than Ashwath.

“I feel proud of my game and how I played. I felt amazing, just unbelievable,” Ashwath told CNN.

Ashwath started playing chess when he was 4 years old. He learned the game with help from a website called ChessKid. Before long, he was playing on a chess board against family members and winning. Today, Ashwath has a chess coach and some big dreams. What’s his goal?

“[I want to be] a world champion,” he told CNN. “That will be a bit of time. It won’t come quickly.”

“I practice a lot each day,” Ashwath said. “A lot of children have a natural talent, so I think I’ve got a natural talent at chess.”

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Did You Know?

A man moves a piece on a chess board as another man watches and types into a computer.

© Tom Mihalek—AFP/Getty Images

Garry Kasparaov (left) played chess against a computer called Deep Blue in 1996.

In 1996, chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov won a chess match against Deep Blue, a computer that IBM had designed to play chess.

Today, computers have gotten so advanced that experts say it would be hard for a human to defeat one in a chess match!

Happy Pi Day!

Did you know that March 14 is Pi Day? Pi is a number with many digits. Most people shorten pi to 3.14. Since you can write March 14 as 3/14, people celebrate this day as Pi Day!

Pi is sort of a magic number when it comes to circles. Check this out.

Let’s say you draw a circle. If you measure around the circle, you get its circumference. If you measure across the circle is at its widest point, you get its diameter.

Two wheels of Swiss cheese, one showing circumference and the other showing diameter with a mouse on either side.

© Catherine Douglas/Dreamstime.com; Composite illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

If you divide the circumference of a circle by the diameter of the circle, you get a number that’s very close to 3.14. 

Let’s try it. Below, we have some cheese that’s shaped like a circle. Its circumference is 15.7 inches. Its diameter is 5 inches. If we divide 15.7 by 5, we get 3.14!

© Catherine Douglas/Dreamstime.com; Composite illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

You can do this with any circle. You will always get a number that’s very close to 3.14.

All this math is making us hungry! The good news is that people have an amazing way to celebrate Pi Day. They eat pie!

Every Move Counts

LeBron James has jumped into the air and is about to dunk a basketball as two opponents look on behind him.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Sport

Chess is a game that requires players to plan their moves in order to achieve the goal of winning. Basketball is the same. In fact, many people have said that LeBron James is like a chess player on the basketball court! Do you agree?

You can read more about LeBron James at Britannica.

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Word of the Day

strategy

Part of speech:

noun

Definition:

: a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal usually over a long period of time

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