Santa Clara boy, 9, becomes youngest U.S. chess master
By Lisa Fernandez
Posted: 12/20/2010 02:57:41 PM PST
Updated: 12/20/2010 03:58:12 PM PST

A 9-year-old boy from Santa Clara has earned himself the title of the youngest “National Master” in United States Chess Federation history.

Samuel Sevian officially obtained the title Dec. 11 in San Francisco when he received a rating of 2,201 at the precise age of 9 years, 11 months and 15 days. He’ll turn 10 on Sunday.

“It feels good,” said Samuel, a chess prodigy, fourth-grader at Don Callejon School and a child of few words.

His father, Armen Sevian, 37, also an avid chess player, explained that in chess, a rating of 2,900 is the best, a rating of 2,200 is master, and 2,000 is expert.

“I’m not as good as Sam,” his father said, explaining that he only has attained the “expert” level, while his son is a “master.”

Father and son often play chess together, when the elder Sevian, a physicist, isn’t developing lasers at Coherent in Santa Clara, where the family moved two years ago from Orlando, Fla. They’re the only two in the family who enjoy the game.

Neither Sevian’s wife, Armine, 37, nor his 8-year-old daughter, Isabelle, are chess-o-philes. Isabelle prefers to dance and play violin, her father said.

“Every attempt to teach her to play chess fails,” he said with a laugh.

Full story here.

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