Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Nine-year-old selected to play for England women's chess team

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From the Guardian:

She is a nine-year-old British prodigy, who has already caused a commotion in the chess world with her fearless play and string of spectacular victories. Now Bodhana Sivanandan, a nine-year-old from Harrow, is set to make history as the youngest person to represent England in international sporting competition.

Sivanandan, who only took up chess in lockdown, is one of five players chosen for England’s women’s team to play in the Chess Olympiad in Budapest in September. The next youngest player, Lan Yao, is 23, while the other members of the team, Jovanka Houska, Harriet Hunt and Kata Toma, are all in their 30s and 40s.

“I’m so pleased to be picked for England,” said Sivanandan, who has set her sights on becoming a grandmaster and winning the women’s world title. “It’s a great honour and I’m looking forward to being part of a team.”

Malcolm Pein, one of the selectors, suggests that Bodhana "must surely be the youngest to be selected to represent England in any international sporting competition," and the Guardian's researches suggest he is right.

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