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Milwaukee chess prodigies and siblings keep winning national and international titles

Hersh Singh and his sister Aradh Kaur are rising chess stars with multiple national and international tournament wins.
Posted at 9:39 AM, Oct 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 10:39:19-04

RIVER HILLS — A battle between two siblings rages on quietly. A younger sister squares up against the older brother in a game of intellectual mastery with family pride on the line. Even though neither talks, their actions speak loudly.

Hersh Singh and his younger sister Aradh Kaur are in a game of wit and strategy trying to beat the other in chess.

Hersh Singh
Hersh Singh posing with his second place trophy at the 2023 Pan American Chess Festival in Chicago this past summer.

The two are chess prodigies attending the University School of Milwaukee in River Hills.

“I started with it at a really young age, and liked it, and I improved fast. So I wanted to keep going with it," 17-year-old senior Hersh Singh said.

Hersh is a FIDE Master. That's the third-highest title the international chess governing body can give. The next are international master and grandmaster.

Older brother Hersh Singh is a FIDE Master. That’s the third-highest title the international chess governing body can give. The next are international master and grandmaster. He's one of only a handful in the state to hold the title.

Hersh is a senior at the University School of Milwaukee in River Hills. He’s just 17 and is the 140th-best chess player in the country. Even though Hersh is soft-spoken, he's competitive.

His main focus in chess is, “Doing good in prestigious tournaments," he said.

That is a humble way of saying winning. He has won four national titles, gotten 2nd 5 times, and recently got 2nd at the Pan American Chess Festival this past summer to earn his title of FIDE Master.

He practices for anywhere between one and a half to four hours a day. It’s a grueling regime, but there is a big goal in mind to become a grandmaster.

His sister, Aradh is also a chess prodigy. When she was 14, she tied for 1st in the Pan-American games and now at 16 she recently won a national tournament in Florida.

Hersh Singh and Aradh Kaur
Hersh Singh (right) and Aradh Kaur (left) play chess in a library at the University School of Milwaukee.

“It started out when my grandfather taught me and it seemed like an interesting game and I kept playing, and I realized I was kind of good at it. So I kept playing, and it was fun," Kaur, a sophomore at the University School of Milwaukee, said.

Like her brother, her favorite part of chess is winning.

But only one can come out on top of a game between these two siblings. While it's not a formally ranked game, the winner gets the title of champion of the house.