When you hear the words grandmaster, the thought of a 14-year-boy is probably not the first thing to come to mind.
But that is exactly what you can call Southbridge chess wiz Samuel Sevian, who is in St. Louis this week — one of 12 — at the U.S. Chess Championship.
Sevian is the youngest American to hold the grandmaster honor. Ever.
He earned it last fall when he kicked butt in another tournament, winning four games to push his World Chess Federation rating past 2,500 points.
Sevian’s chess pedigree is impressive. His dad started him playing at age 5 and chess superstar, grandmaster Garry Kasparov, is a mentor and big backer.
“I fell in love with the game,” he tells CBS Boston. “I play to win.”
How? The same way you get to New York’s Carnegie Hall. Practice. Practice. Practice.
He studies chess up to seven hours a day and his tourney scheduled makes homeschooling his only option.
“It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t really play chess,” he said. “It’s like explaining music to a deaf person.”
He hopes more people, young and old, take up chess.
“It’s a beautiful game,” he told CBS.