How this Granada Hills Charter High senior gets her champion chess set – Daily News

It is not uncommon for young people to enlist in the army to “see the world”. But for a high schooler from Porter Ranch, it was the game of chess that took her across the United States and to South America, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.

And on Tuesday, she will travel to Chalkidiki, Greece, for the 2018 World Youth Chess Championship and compete against more than 600 competitors.

Julia Sevilla, a 17-year-old student at Granada Hills Charter High School, is a chip off the old block, picking up the game her father started teaching her when she was quite young.

Julia Sevilla of Granada Hills Charter High is the second 17-year-old chess player in the United States and will compete in the World Youth Chess Championship in Halkidiki, Greece. (Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News-SCNG)

He showed her the moves, but she took it to the next level by winning a few thousand dollars in cash prizes and a scholarship to a Midwestern university.

She describes the journeys as tedious, but once you get there, the competition, the food, the culture and the welcoming people are worth it.

“Each place is unique in its own way. I’m grateful for chess as an asset and going to different places because of it,” she said.

But it’s the lure of quiet contemplation, strategy, and competitive social interaction while maintaining a 4.0 GPA with challenging advanced placement courses simultaneously on her plate that draws Julia.

She uses various techniques to boost her game.

Challenging opponents in online games, studying other players’ strategies, and following and studying other tournaments are part of his modus operandi.

She also has a chess coach and practices the game whenever she gets the chance.

“Everything in chess is calculation,” said Julia. “If you make a mistake, you make a mistake.”

Playing chess tires the brain, so building stamina is vital.

One way Julia builds her cerebral endurance is by building her cardio endurance on the treadmill at a nearby YMCA.

“Physical endurance is just as important as mental endurance,” she said.

Julia, the eldest of three siblings, is ranked among the top young chess players in the United States. Trophies are strewn around the two-story family home, on tables and in his bedroom.

“She is very hardworking. She excels at anything that comes to mind,” said her mother, Emmaliza Sevilla, a certified public accountant at the Los Angeles United School District.

Emmaliza said her daughter racked up A’s every year in elementary and middle school and attributed Julia’s discipline to the family’s culture.

Dad, Fernando Sevilla, a licensed general contractor is Filipino and part Chinese, and mom is Filipino.

The Sevillas came to America as adults.

“Our culture promotes education,” Emmaliza said.

Chess is not Julia’s only game.

She likes to play online video games like most teenagers, draws characters and people, plays the piano and tennis, and gets into a lot of mischief in her garden with her dogs.

She describes her demeanor as calm but hesitant and has a modest attitude about her intermediate ranking in the upcoming Greek competition.

“So there are things I might miss and it will affect my games a bit later on,” Julia said.

But for her, failures are parallel to life.

There’s time management, variables, and logical problem solving in both.

“We have a time limit in chess and in life,” Julia said on Friday. “

Initially, his strategy is to take control of the center of the board.

“(That’s when) it goes really fast. You think you know what you’re doing,” she said.

Then the game slows down in the middle where the strategy can get out of control.

“There are more possibilities for different positions. In the late game there are fewer pieces… you can get your king out and be more open with him, but that’s the hardest stage because there’s a lot more theory… more logical choices,” said she added. “The plan is more ambiguous and even though there are far fewer pieces, there are more options for players.”

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