Chat with a Chess Champ

20 November 2020

Although COVID has put many of our normal activities on hold, our students are still finding ways to pursue their passions outside of the classroom.

We recently had a chat with Tashika (Year 8), who currently represents England at U12 Chess, about her involvement in and love for the sport. Earlier this term, she competed in the European Youth Chess Championship which saw around 100 players participating.

How did you become interested in chess?

It all began when I was looking for an after-school activity at my previous school. I tried chess out of curiosity and I really liked it. My first coach was actually a partially blind man!

When did you start competing in tournaments?

I started around one month after being taught. I didn’t know how to play on a full board at the time, but my coach encouraged me to attend one of the county tournaments. That was my first tournament and I won that.

That’s amazing! You must have been so happy to win your first competition. So, what has been your most memorable moment so far?

I went to Torquay for the British Chess Championships, where I played in the U11 Mixed group. For my second game, I lost to someone of a lower grade than me. I was really upset, but then I won the last four games and, in the end, I placed 2nd. In the last game, I beat one of the highest rated players. That was really memorable for me.

Finally, what do you love most about chess?

The thing that I love most about chess is how the pieces coordinate with each other, which I find really interesting. I also love the challenge of the sport, especially when your opponent goes on full attack.


In December, Tashika will compete in the Online World Cadets Chess Championship, a three-day long tournament. Good luck Tashika!

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