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17-year-old Milwaukee student earns the third-highest chess title since 2013

He owes it to his grandfather
chess winner singh.jpg
Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 13, 2023

A Milwaukee high school student earned the third-highest title in chess, the FIDE Master, at 17.

Hersh Singh is a student at the University School of Milwaukee in River Hills. His accomplishments make him the first Wisconsinite to earn this title since 2013.

Singh has played chess since 1st grade because his grandfather wanted to show him the game. His grandfather wanted to keep him busy whenever school was not in session.

“The longest game of my life was a five-and-a-half-hour odyssey in Greece at age 9, where I lost the game but came out jumping with joy, having survived for so long against a much higher-rated opponent,” said Singh.

Grandmaster is the highest title in chess followed by master.

Hersh Singh chess competition.jpg
Hersh Singh competing in a chess competition

Hersh Singh, a senior at University School of Milwaukee, has recently earned the title of FIDE Master (FM) in chess—the third-highest title a player can achieve, behind international master and grandmaster. At 17 years old, he is the first person in the state of Wisconsin to attain the FM title since 2013.

About Hersh:
  • He obtained the FM rating after earning 2nd place in the Pan-American Youth Chess Festival held in Chicago.
  • Hersh is ranked 140th [ratings.fide.com] amongst all active chess players in the U.S., and ranked amongst the top 3,000 players worldwide.
  • He has been playing chess since 1st grade, when his grandfather taught him the game as a way to occupy him during long Wisconsin winters. 
  • He and his younger sister, also an accomplished player, have traveled all over the world representing the United States at tournaments. “The longest game of my life was a five-and-a-half-hour odyssey in Greece at age 9, where I lost the game but came out jumping with joy, having survived for so long against a much higher-rated opponent,” he said.