A young ballarat chess player celebrates his victory | The mail


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A 10-year-old Ballarat chess player beat some of Victoria’s top-rated contenders, winning the reserve section of the Victorian Country Chess Championship this weekend and placing third overall. Paul Dao has been playing chess for six years and has faced adult players, many of whom have played their entire lives, to win the championship. When asked how he came to win the title, Paul replied that it was “lucky”, but Victorian Rural Chess League president Kevin Perrin said Paul was highly qualified for his career. age. “Some people never win a championship in their life … at his age he’ll have his name on the main championship trophy before too long.” Paul said he won his second game “a lot” because his opponent blundered. “I felt good and nervous. I was proud of myself,” said Paul. Twenty-nine people took part in the chess competition in Geelong over the weekend, eight of which came from Ballarat. Paul has been part of the Ballarat Chess Club’s junior program since moving to the city with his family from Newcastle in July of last year. Paul said he trained against people at the club and online, playing about three games of chess a week. It is the first time that he is part of a chess club other than those of his school. He’s a member of the Pleasant Street Elementary School Chess Club and has friends who play as well. He also occasionally plays with his six-year-old sister Anna, who is also a member of the Ballarat Chess Club’s junior program. Mr Perrin said Paul had a lot of “natural talent” and generally young players don’t improve as quickly. “He will have to work hard to beat the best players,” he said. “But at this age being so good, he could get titles like the international master. Certainly his game has to move to another level, but with his age and his talent, it is possible for him to go to higher levels. . “Two weeks ago. he beat our current club champion Ballarat in 23 moves. It’s amazing. “He’s like a sponge for the news. He’s going to walk around and see what happens with the other games while his opponent makes a move.” Each player has a 90-minute time limit in a competitive game of chess, with chess clocks counting the time for each person separately. Some games can last four hours, but most last about an hour. “Usually the one who makes the first mistake is the one who loses,” Perrin said. Paul’s father Minh Dao said he was proud of his son and thanked the Ballarat Chess Club for their support. Paul also participated this year in an elite training group on the Gold Coast with 28 children from all over Australia who had intense sessions with Grandmasters. The World Chess Championship for 2021 is currently underway. Have you signed up for the Courier’s variety of news emails? You can sign up below and make sure you’re up to date with everything that is happening at Ballarat.



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