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9 Feb, 2009 17:34

Grandmaster at fifteen years old

Grandmaster at fifteen years old

The Russian teenage chess prodigy Alina Kashlinskaya is poised to become Europe’s youngest Grandmaster.

The World Chess Federation (FIDE) sets certain criteria for a player to become a Grandmaster. He or she must take part in an international competition where other Grandmasters play and end up with an Elo rating, which reflects a skill level of at least 2400.

Alina achieved a total of three of these norms on February 8 at Russia’s biggest chess tournament, the Moscow Open. This entitles the 15-year-old to receive the honorary title. The Russian Chess Federation will send a request to FIDE’s next congress.

In 2007 Kashlinskaya became Europe’s youngest International Master, which is one step lower then Grandmaster in FIDE’s rankings.

Alina is a determined player who wants to get to the top of the chess ladder.

She said: “It has always been not only a sport but also a kind of art. I want to reach every high goal there is, to win every possible thing.”

The youngest ever female Grandmaster is Hou Yifan, who was 14-years-old when she achieved the honour.