Mini chess players show their mettle

One of the young players, Niranjana Ganeshram, taking a break between matches. Photo credit: Eindhoven Chess Association

The anti-corona measures could dampen these young chess players from Eindhoven’s spirits.

Last Saturday was what’s known in the Dutch chess world as National Pupil Day – the National Championship for the youngest children. The competition’s divided into three groups. There’s the F-group for children from 2011. The G-group is for kids born in 2012. And the H-group for the youngest children, from 2013 and later.

The tournament was held online. International chess master, Stefan Kuipers, did a great job doing commentary for the matches. All kinds of guests such as chess queen, GM Zhoaqin Peng, and children’s author, Joyce van der Meijden joined in during the broadcast.

Local kids participated

Several children from the Eindhoven Chess Association took part. “Everyone played under a nickname, and only this nickname appeared in the results,” writes Frits Schalij, the club’s chairman, in the association’s online newsletter. “I (, therefore,) don’t know exactly where everyone ended up.”

What is known is that Luna Huang came second in the F-group. She received top honours for the highest-ranking girl. Luna is, therefore, the Dutch Girl’s champion. “She’s following in her older sister, Wendy’s, footsteps,” writes Frits. Another young member of the group, Kevin Gang, ended in shared tenth place.

In the G-group, Freek Thijssen came third, and Eric Zhang shared eighth position. That’s quite a feat, as Eric had bad luck during a match. His browser crashed, and he lost the match.

“In the H-group, our girls drew attention,” comments Frits. Niranjana Ganeshram came second. She is another player, Nirupa’s, younger sister. Right on her heels, in third position, was Melody Zhang, even though she was only born in 2014.

Source: Eindhoven Chess Association

Translator: Melinda Walraven

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