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WUS pupil breaks chess record – Youngest ever to achieve Candidate Master (CM) status
July 11, 2024

One of our Year 5 pupils, Ethan, has achieved a remarkable milestone in the world of chess. At just nine years old, Ethan is the youngest player ever to surpass a FIDE rating of 2200, allowing him to obtain the prestigious title of Candidate Master (CM). Ethan’s record-breaking accomplishment surpasses the previous record held by FM Faustino Oro.

Ethan became a member of Westminster Under School’s chess team under the guidance of Dr. Horridge, Head of History and Master i/c Chess, upon joining in Year 3. His passion for the game quickly became apparent, and with dedicated practice, both at home and at school, Ethan has made significant strides in his chess journey. Since turning nine in March, Ethan’s rating has soared from 1878 to an impressive 2212 in just three tournaments.

His latest success was at the EACU County Team Championship in June, where he earned 48 rating points and secured first place in his category. Remarkably, Ethan has remained unbeaten in his last 16 classical games. He demonstrated great skill in the U13 section of the ChessKid Youth Championship, securing first place over GM Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus, the world’s youngest grandmaster.

Reflecting on his achievements, Ethan said: “I feel proud of myself for achieving a CM as it is a very difficult task to do and I spent a lot of time practising at home and at school in the chess club. My next wish is to achieve an FM title and I think I’ll go to a lot more tournaments to achieve this. I find chess both fun and challenging due to its competitive and exciting nature!”

Ethan’s father, Mr Pang, said: “Since joining WUS, Ethan has experienced significant advances in both his chess abilities and personal growth. The school’s commitment to holistic development has been crucial in refining his chess skills, fostering positive behaviour, and instilling a strong philosophy for achieving his goals.

Through unwavering guidance and support, Dr Horridge has been instrumental in nurturing Ethan’s chess development. He has not only invited Ethan to participate in school tournaments but has also provided him with the opportunity to learn from his mistakes, enabling continual improvement. The combination of the school’s well-rounded approach and Dr Horridge’s dedicated mentorship has been pivotal in Ethan’s journey to becoming the accomplished chess player he is today.”


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