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9-Year-Old Makes History As Youngest 2300 Player Ever
Faustino Oro is only 9 years old, but has already broken 2300. Photo: Federico Marin, El Mundo.

9-Year-Old Makes History As Youngest 2300 Player Ever

TarjeiJS
| 55 | Chess.com News

Nine-year-old FM Faustino Oro has been dubbed the "Messi of Chess" by Argentinian media as he made history as the youngest player to ever break the 2300 rating barrier.

In March, the 2013-born Argentinian became the youngest player to ever break 2200 at nine years and three months. Now three months later, he has broken the 2300 barrier as well, smashing the former record held by Uzbek GM Javokhir Sindarov by over seven months, according to chess statistician Tal Pruce-Zimmerman, who has been tracking prodigies for years.

On FIDE's latest rating list for June, Oro is rated at 2316, earning the FM title as the youngest to do so by rating points alone. Pruce-Zimmerman has published a list of the youngest players to break the barrier before Oro.

"The fact that he hit 2300 at an age where only four players had ever hit 2200 yet is ridiculous," he said. Pruce-Zimmerman also provided his records showing the highest ratings ever registered at the same age as Oro.

Oro has been known in the Spanish-speaking chess community for a while after becoming the Argentinian U8 champion, then winning the Pan American U10 championship. He has received plenty of media attention in Argentina while also appearing on the Spanish Chess.com streams.

Known as Fausti among family and friends, the nine-year-old is a product of the incredible chess boost during the pandemic. His father, Alejandro, says that although his son was initially not very keen on chess, he decided to create an account for him on Chess.com in May 2020 in order to prevent Fausti from kicking a football inside their house.

Oro at the board. Photo: Federico Marin, El Mundo.

"Since I worked from home, he was completely self-taught, watching videos on YouTube, because he hasn't even read a chess book either," he said in an interview with El Mundo, who dubbed him the "Messi of Chess".

Fausti was promised a prize for every 100 points he gained online, his father says.

"A week passed, and there was a knock on my door. 'Daddy, I won the prize.' Two days later, he won the next one. The third day that he came, in the same week, I thought that he would be giving everyone [Scholar's Mate]. I found out, to my surprise, that he calculated combinations of several moves," he told the newspaper.

Eventually, the local chess club decided to give him online lessons.

Fausti during a simul. Photo: ChessKid.

"The teacher put mate problems in four, and Fausti took them out so quickly that the other boys didn't even have time to see the pieces. I spoke with my wife, and we found him a private teacher," he said.

Since then, his progress has been remarkable, with his father crediting it to intensive play on Chess.com. His highest blitz rating as FaustinoOro is 2800.

"Fausti understands chess in a different way and calculates very well," he said. "One of his teachers said that he intuitively knows where the pieces go. He also finds rare, impossible moves with incredible ease."

Fausti has also caught the attention of the world's biggest chess YouTuber, who analyzed some of his games.

IM Levy Rozman, known as GothamChess, said:

"What I have noticed about Faustino is that his repertoire is very good with White and Black, but he has got a very sophisticated playing style. If you play nonsense against him, he is going to punish you. If you play good stuff against him, he is not going to melt. He is a very good attacker and defender. He knows when to be tactical, he knows when to be positional. He keeps his nerves! He is literally the perfect prototype chess player."

Spanish Grandmaster Jose Pepe Cuenca Jimenez wrote on Twitter:

"I played two rapid games against him a couple of months ago in Buenos Aires. In one of them, he completely outplayed me positionally in the middlegame. He is such a beast already!"

Fausti Oro is part of the ChessKid Spanish streamers team, with a show called: Fausti ¡El pequeño Gigante! Photo: Chesskid.

His father says he attends school in the morning, then trains three to four hours a day. 

“Every achievement makes me happy. One of my goals was to become an FM, and I achieved it. Now I want to continue for more and become an International Master and play in the World Cup,” Faustino told Ole Sports.

The young prodigy can now target breaking 2400, a rating that the now super grandmaster GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov broke when he had barely turned 10.5 years.

TarjeiJS
Tarjei J. Svensen

Tarjei Svensen is a Norwegian chess journalist who worked for some of the country's biggest media outlets and appeared on several national TV broadcasts. Between 2015 and 2019, he ran his chess website mattogpatt.no, covering chess news in Norwegian and partly in English.

In 2020, he was hired by Chess24 to cover chess news, eventually moving to Chess.com as a full-time chess journalist in 2023. He is also known for his extensive coverage of chess news on his X/Twitter account.

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