US & Canada

Samuel Sevian, nine, is youngest ever US chess master

Chess board
Samuel Sevian is coached by international master Andranik Matikozyan, who lives in Los Angeles

A nine-year-old boy from California has become the youngest-ever chess master in the US.

Samuel Sevian, from Santa Clara, was awarded the title by the US Chess Federation following a match in San Francisco.

The body gave him a rating of 2,201. A rating of 2,200 qualifies a player as a national master.

Samuel beats the previous record-holder of youngest US chess master, Nicholas Nip, of San Francisco, by 11 days.

It is not the first record for Samuel, who celebrates his 10h birthday on 26 December.

At the age of eight he was also the youngest person to attain the US chess level of "expert".

Samuel spends at least two hours a day studying chess, playing against his father Armen Sevian, 37, and practising over the internet with his coach, international master Andranik Matikozyan, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Mr Matikozyan told the paper: "I met Samuel three years ago. When I saw him playing I was amazed. I thought, 'This kid is really talented'."

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